DNR Grants the Urban Forest Project nearly $10,000 for 2013

The Department of Natural Resources today announced that grants totaling $92,039 for urban forestry projects statewide will be awarded to 18 recipients in Alger, Antrim, Barry, Clinton, Genesee, Grand Traverse, Ingham, Kent, Lapeer, Muskegon, Oakland, Saginaw, Shiawassee, St. Clair and Wayne counties.

The competitive grant program – a cooperative effort between the DNR and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service – funds projects that help create and sustain local urban forestry programs. Grants are awarded for tree planting, community tree inventories, management plans, and education and training projects which enhance and promote urban forestry in Michigan.

“Research shows that trees have positive social and health effects on a community,” said Kevin Sayers, DNR Urban and Community Forestry Program coordinator. “These grants will not only improve the landscape, but they’ll also enhance the livability of these urban communities.”

The Friends of Grand Rapids Parks was awarded $9,875 to develop, and launch the Citizen Forester portion of the Urban Forest Project. This money will be used to build curriculum, develop materials, and begin offering classes for Grand Rapids citizens to learn more about the care of trees in their backyards. This award continues to build on the generous contribution of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation to support the Urban Forest Project.

The grants are federally funded through the USDA Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry Program. Cost-share funds are available to local units of government, schools, tribal governments and nonprofit entities. The grants require 1-to-1 matching funds toward projects performed on non-federal, public lands or lands open to the public. Grant awards will be distributed in December for projects to be completed by Sept. 1, 2013.

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