Financial help

2021 DNR Urban Forestry Grant Application now open

Cities, villages, towns, counties, tribes and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in or conducting their project in Wisconsin are encouraged to apply for a regular or startup 2021 Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant! The grants range from $1,000 to $25,000, and grant recipients must match each grant dollar for dollar. A startup grant of up to $5,000 is available for communities that want to start or restart a community forestry program. Grants are awarded to projects that align with state and national goals for increasing the urban forest canopy and the benefits it provides. Also available this grant cycle is an additional $175,000 federal funding to be used for ash tree removals and replacements. EAB treatment will not be funded with these additional monies. Applications can be submitted starting July 1, 2020 until October 1, 2020.

To view the application and apply visit the Urban Forestry Grants website. If you have questions regarding application process and eligible projects contact your DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator.

Apply now for a FY2021 Landscape Scale Restoration (LSR) Grant

The State & Private Forestry Landscape Scale Restoration (LSR) Competitive Grant initiative is a partnership between states and the Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry (S&PF). Its goal is to focus federal investments on issues, challenges, opportunities and landscapes of state importance that also address national and regional themes.

The LSR grant requires a one to one match, and the minimum amount of Federal funds is $25,000. Units of local government, Tribes, non-profit organizations (defined as a 501c3), and universities are eligible to submit applications.

More Information and Resources

Prospective applicants should use the 2020 Wisconsin Forest Action Plan to align project proposals with state and regional strategies and goals. Additionally, refer to the USDA Forest Service S&PF National Guidance for eligibility, proposal requirements, necessary criteria for competitive proposals, changes in this year’s process, and the FY2021 focus achieving on-the-ground outcomes on rural forest land.

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ATC continues funding for planting and pollinator habitat projects

Recognizing that trees and vegetation are among the features that make communities special places for residents and visitors, American Transmission Co. will continue funding for planting projects in communities in its service area through its Community Planting and Pollinator Habitat programs.

“While we can’t allow trees or tall‑growing vegetation in our rights‑of‑way, we do understand that they are an important part of the landscape,” said ATC Vegetation Management Manager Michelle Stokes. “These programs enable us to encourage and support communities to plant trees and vegetation that will beautify communities in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system.”

The Community Planting Program provides financial support to eligible cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes in ATC’s service area for planting projects on public property, outside transmission line rights-of-way. Program funds can be used to plant trees and other tall-growing vegetation outside the transmission line rights-of-way. ATC has awarded more than 240 communities with funds totaling over $425,000 since 2013.

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$175,000 additional Urban Forestry Grant funding available for EAB – Ash Tree Removals and Replacements

Credit: Leah Bauer, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, Bugwood.org

The WDNR received $175,000 from the USDA Forest Service, Forest Health & Resilience funds, to assist communities in response to the catastrophic loss of urban tree canopy due to EAB.  The $175,000 will be administered through the competitive State Urban Forestry Grants program and sub-awarded to cities, villages, towns, counties, tribes and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.  Projects funded with the Forest Health & Resilience funds will focus on EAB response on public lands, including ash tree removals and replacements.  EAB treatment will not be funded with these dollars.  These projects will further the Forest Service National Priorities to ‘protect forests from threats’ and ‘enhance public benefits from trees and forests’, and make Wisconsin communities safer, healthier and happier places to live, work and play.

2021 DNR Urban Forestry Grant Application opening soon

Cities, villages, towns, counties, tribes and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in or conducting their project in Wisconsin are encouraged to apply for a regular or startup 2021 Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant! The grants range from $1,000 to $25,000, and grant recipients must match each grant dollar for dollar. A startup grant of up to $5,000 is available for communities that want to start or restart a community forestry program. Grants are awarded to projects that align with state and national goals for increasing the urban forest canopy and the benefits it provides. Also available this grant cycle is an additional $175,000.00 federal funding to be used for ash tree removals and replacements. EAB treatment will not be funded with these additional monies. Applications can be submitted starting July 1, 2020 until October 1, 2020.

To view the application and apply visit the Urban Forestry Grants website. If you have questions regarding application process and eligible projects contact your DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator.

Pandemic relief grant for small Wisconsin businesses

If you are a small business owner in Wisconsin looking for some financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, the “We’re All In Small Business” grant might be a good fit. The grant program—funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act—can provide $2,500 in grant money to assist in covering the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and inventory. The grant is available for up to 30,000 small businesses in Wisconsin.

To learn more about the program, please check out the “We’re All In” Small Business Grant webpage on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) website. Here’s a link to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the grant program. The WEDC has representatives available to provide guidance to small business owners whose questions are not answered on the FAQ page.

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grant Program request for applications

The U.S. Forest Service anticipates that up to $4.2 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding will be available for tree planting and restoring native vegetation in the Great Lakes Basin. This funding will be competitively awarded to the best proposals received through the June 26, 2020 deadline at grants.gov. Search for Grant Opportunity Number USDA-FS-2020-GLRI. The funding is available to state agencies, Tribal communities, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and local governments that work within the Great Lakes Basin.

Funds will be distributed across the following four program areas:

  • Forest Insect and Disease Mitigation
  • Reduce Runoff from Degraded Sites through Green Infrastructure
  • Protect and Restore Coastal Wetlands through Healthy Tree Cover
  • Restore Resilient Riparian and Shoreline Forests

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Hope for the future: Barron’s storm story

By Brad Johnson, DNR regional urban forestry coordinator, Spooner, BradleyDJohnson@wisconsin.gov, 715-410-8299

Within a short period of time, from the Jamie Closs tragedy to the violent wind storm of July 2019, the people of Barron, Wisconsin have had to endure unprecedented hardship. They are looking forward to better days ahead. Hope for the future is just what Barron is experiencing as they clean up from the storm and rebuild their urban tree resource. The DNR Urban Forestry team has contributed to these efforts with their expertise and financial support; in the past year, Barron has received a total of $55,000 in DNR Urban Forestry grants.

Barron inventoried all of its public trees in May 2019 with financial help from the DNR, who paid for a consultant as part of a pilot program. Unfortunately, a violent straight-line windstorm damaged and blew down 25% of Barron’s public trees on July 19, 2019.  Barron again had to pick itself up in the face of adversity and with the help of additional DNR funding, reinventoried its trees and wrote a plan of attack on how to rebuild its decimated urban tree canopy.

The updated tree inventory is a crucial component of Barron’s recovery plan. According to Liz Jacobson, Barron City Manager, “Accomplishing a tree inventory is helping us know where we are at, and where we need to go.”

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Catastrophic aid request approved for communities

Last October, the Department of Natural Resources’ Urban Forestry program awarded fifteen communities and tribes with grant funding in response to the State of Emergency declared on July 18th, 2019. This declaration triggered the availability of up to 20% of the program’s funds, an amount of $104,920, to affected Wisconsin communities to help lessen the burden of storm-related damages to their urban forest canopy. Each applicant was able to request a maximum of $50,000; however, due to the unprecedented number of applications received, grants were limited to awards ranging from $4,000 to $8,428.19.

The Department submitted a request in December to the Joint Committee on Finance to transfer funds from the forestry emergency reserve. This reserve was created in 2017 as a result of Wisconsin Act 59 for emergency responses to significant fire, disease, infestation, or other natural disasters that could not otherwise be reimbursed by federal funds.

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Funding opportunities available through the DNR

Local units of government (LUGs) are eligible to apply for four Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program grants and two related federal programs administered by the DNR. The annual application deadline is May 1st for the grant programs listed below.

Knowles-Nelson Stewardship local assistance grant programs:

  • Aids for the Acquisition and Development of Local Parks (ADLP)
  • Urban Green Space (UGS) grants
  • Urban Rivers (UR) grants
  • Acquisition of Development Rights (ADR)

Federal recreation grant programs:

  • Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
  • Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

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