Urban wood

Deadlines Approaching For Tree City, Bird City And Bee City Applications

Act fast to keep your Tree City, Bird City and Bee City status! Due dates are as follows:

  • Tree City USA (TCUSA) applications are due Dec. 31
  • Bird City Wisconsin renewal applications are due Jan. 31 (new applications can be submitted anytime)
  • Bee City USA renewal applications are due Feb. 28 (new applications can be submitted anytime)

These three programs are each managed by a different nonprofit, but they have a lot in common. In fact, a single project could be used to help meet all three programs’ requirements!

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Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program Grant Proposals Now Accepted

Proposals for the 2022 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program are now being accepted through Jan. 25, 2022 by 11:59 p.m. eastern time.

The Five Star and Urban Waters Grant Program will award approximately $2.6 million in grants nationwide. An additional $1,000,000 in grants is available from a private funder to support urban green infrastructure that focuses on urban forests and tree planting, especially in underserved communities.

The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grant program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality, watersheds and the species and habitats they support. 

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2022 SFI Community Grants

Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is now accepting proposals for SFI Community Grants. Grants are awarded in the range of $5,000 to $10,000 dollars per project. Applications will be accepted through Feb. 1, 2022. The Lead Organization on the project must be one of the following: SFI Implementation Committee (SIC), non-profit, college/university or indigenous community/organization. Local governments would need to partner with a SFI Implementation Committee member in order to apply. 

SFI Community Grants will support projects that address one or more of the following priorities:

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Tree And Shrub Pruning Workshop

This pruning workshop for ages 18+ is designed to elevate tree and shrub care for professionals and beginners.

During the workshop, attendees will learn about the following topics:

  • Basics of plant biology and structure
  • Responses to the basic types of pruning cuts
  • Pruning standards and timing
  • How to successfully restore previously mal-pruned trees and common mistakes
  • Disease issues, proper tools and safety procedures to use 

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Watch Us Grow! 16 Big Trees Planted in New Urban Forest Demonstration Area at the Forest Exploration Center

In collaboration with Wudeward Urban Forest Products, the Forest Exploration Center officially broke ground to launch the first of many educational plans for the open spaces of the property.

The new Urban Forest interpretive area will include exhibits and guided demonstrations. Visitors will explore the beauty, form and structure of this diverse selection of trees fit for the urban environment and discover that urban forests, like their rural forest counterpart, are also dynamic ecosystems that provide critical benefits to people and wildlife.

Our fine partners at the Wisconsin DNR’s division of Urban Forestry selected the tree species and designed the planting space. Species were chosen as those best to thrive in urban environments and represent the wide range of possibilities available to visitors interested in learning more about identifying, planting, and caring for trees in their own neighborhood.

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DNR Announces Urban Forestry Catastrophic Storm Grant Recipients

By Nicolle Spafford, DNR Program Specialist, Nicolle.Spafford@wisconsin.gov or 715-896-7099

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the recipients of the Urban Forestry Catastrophic Storm Grants to assist with damage sustained during the July 28, 2021 extreme storm events throughout the state.

The following five communities will divide $104,920.00 in fiscal year 2022 state grant dollars: Marathon County, City of Omro, City of Ripon, City of Tomahawk and the City of Watertown.

Catastrophic storm grants typically range from $4,000 to $50,000. Due to the high number of applications this year, applicants could receive a maximum of $22,965. Each applicant received at least partial funding. The grants do not require a dollar-for-dollar match.

The DNR’s Urban Forestry Catastrophic Storm Grant program funds tree repair, removal or replacement within urban areas following a catastrophic storm event for which the governor has declared a State of Emergency under s. 323.10, Wis. Stats.

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New Urban Forestry Coordinator in Wausau

By Jeff Roe, DNR Urban Forestry Team Leader, Madison, jeffrey.roe@wisconsin.gov, 608-535-7582 

I am very pleased to announce that Patricia Lindquist has accepted the North Central Regional Urban Forestry Coordinator position. Patricia’s first day was Nov. 8, and she is based in Wausau. She is very excited to be continuing her career at the DNR and taking on new challenges.

Patricia has worked as our Urban Forestry Communications, Education and Outreach Specialist for the past two years. Prior to that, she spent six years working in urban forestry at two Madison-area nonprofits, Community GroundWorks and Urban Tree Alliance. She has a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from UW-Madison.

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Wisconsin Environmental Equity Tool (WEET) Announced

Gov. Tony Evers recently announced that the DNR, working with three other state agencies and partner organizations, is developing the Wisconsin Environmental Equity Tool (WEET), a public health and environmental equity mapping dashboard.

The dashboard is designed to locate and compare public health and environmental impacts across the state to advance equity, allowing community members, government and elected officials, public health professionals and nonprofits to pinpoint Wisconsin’s communities most impacted by environmental, public health and climate vulnerability.

This information will also help identify the environmental challenges and prioritize funding priorities to build healthy, resilient communities. The DNR is collaborating with the Department of Administration (DOA), Department of Health Services (DHS), and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) on this effort.

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What Accounts For Your Neighborhood’s Tree Canopy?

By Dan Buckler, DNR Urban Forest Assessment Specialist, Madison, daniel.buckler@wisconsin.gov or 608-445-4578

When I returned to my hometown neighborhood in northeast Ohio this past August, I was delighted to rekindle my friendship with so many trees that I have known most of my life. There are, of course, the Norway maples and crabapples and blue spruces found in maintained spaces throughout eastern America. One also finds a fair number of sugar maples and Ohio buckeyes. But despite apparently living in a democracy, red oak is king of my neighborhood.

During this visit, I did something that I don’t always do; I looked down. What I saw concerned me. Or, rather, what I didn’t see. Few trees had been planted in a decade, and fewer still will grow into canopy-replacing size. Windstorms were slowly bleeding the neighborhood of its great oak and maple trees, but there were no longer any kings or queens being coronated.

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Data and Factsheets from ADF Urban Forestry Economic Study Now Available (DNR Study Coming Soon)

By Olivia Witthun, DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator, Plymouth, olivia.witthun@wisconsin.gov, 414-750-8744

For years, the economic contribution of urban forestry has been lumped together with broader green industry numbers. Several years ago, the Wisconsin DNR took the lead in a Landscape Scale Restoration Grant-funded project for the Northeast-Midwest region looking at the contributions of urban forestry. Regional and state-level reports will be available in Spring 2022. 

In the meantime, Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) took the lead in a similar nationwide project looking at the contributions of urban forestry. Nationwide and state-level data is now available along with state-specific factsheets. Read more about the economic study

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