Urban and Community Forestry Grants Program

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)


Grant amount: US $11,000 - US $75,000

Deadline: Jul 12, 2018 11:00am PDT

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit Indigenous Group

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: New York

Location of residency: New York

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Overview:

Grant  Objectives

The DEC is committed to implementing a successful Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) Program and dedicated to providing support and assistance to communities in the development and implementation of comprehensive tree planting, management, and education to create healthy urban and community forests while enhancing the quality of life for urban residents. 

Funding Amounts

DEC anticipates that a total of approximately $2.3 million will be available for eligible projects in response to this Request For Applications (RFA). Available funding is provided from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

Grant funding will be made available on a reimbursement basis for each the following funding categories:

“Large Community Grants”:

  • Approximately $1,150,000.00 of the total funding will be available for projects located within cities and towns with populations of over 65,000 residents.
    • See Appendix 1 of this RFA for a complete list of eligible large communities.
  •  Applicants may request a minimum grant amount of $11,000, up to a maximum amount of $75,000.

“Community Grants”: 

  • Approximately $1,150,000.00 of the total funding will be available for projects located within Communities with a population size of less than 65,000 residents.
    • Applicants may request a minimum grant amount of $11,000, up to a maximum amount of $50,000.

Project Types and Information

UCF projects must be one of the following four project types, as detailed below. See the full RFA for complete details.

Tree Inventory

DEC recommends an applicant conduct an inventory of existing trees and potential planting spaces prior to developing a management plan or implementing a planting or maintenance project. Inventory projects are encouraged in order to get a picture of the age, species, health, and geographic distribution of the urban forest.

A complete (100%) inventory provides specific information for individualized tree care, including risk tree identification. Risk tree identification is recommended, but not required. 

Applications for inventories are encouraged to address environmental issues (including storm water treatment, water quality, air quality, urban heat island effects, structural heating/cooling, or brown fields) that are presently impacted by existing trees, or could be impacted with planting on strategic sites.

Applications should also address the presumed effects on social and economic conditions by the presence of trees where they currently exist and in the selection of future planting sites.

Community Forest Management Plan

Communities, in creating a management plan, must base the plan on an environmental benefits analysis using their current street tree inventory of existing trees and list of potential planting sites. Tree inventory data can be used to address environmental issues, water quality, air quality, urban heat island effects, structural heating/cooling, storm water management, and/or brownfields that are presently impacted by existing trees, or could be impacted with planting on strategic sites.

Applications for management plans are encouraged to address environmental issues (including storm water treatment, water quality, air quality, urban heat island effects, structural heating/cooling, or brownfields) that are presently impacted by existing trees, or could be impacted with planting on strategic sites.

Applications should also address the presumed effects on social and economic conditions by the presence of trees where they currently exist and in the selection of future planting sites. 

Tree Planting

Tree planting applications should address how the project will promote the quality of the urban forest in parks and/or open spaces; habitat creation; air and water quality; energy savings; increased property values; revitalization; public health; and/or improved quality of life for residents. Tree planting projects may not be located on state-owned property except for designated state-owned roadways within cities, villages and towns.

Applications from communities with a U&CF management plan will receive more points in the evaluation of an application. Applicants must use only non-invasive species and should give appropriate consideration to under-served urban neighborhoods (all potential neighborhoods whose demographic, geographic, or economic characteristics impede or prevent their access to adequate canopy cover and other benefits of trees). Points are available in the evaluation of an application if the project is located in an under-served neighborhood, and when a DEC forester or natural resource professional’s approval of the tree list is provided. 

Tree Maintenance

For a tree maintenance grant application to be considered, your complete tree inventory or the portion of your inventory where the project is located is required to be uploaded with your application, except in cases of storm-damaged tree remediation where a state of emergency was declared. Inventories must be less than years old. Tree maintenance projects should include documentation of intent to use professional arborist services, or staff trained in best management practices for tree maintenance.

Examples of maintenance projects:

  • Tree removal or pruning, including stump removal, and forest thinning
  • Pest control management practices, including removing and chipping
  • Young tree care, including staking, watering, adding tree guards, etc.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • Eligible applicants:
    • Governmental entities and not-for-profit corporations (NFP) acting on behalf of a public ownership interest in the property or acting on behalf of a public property owner are eligible to apply.
    • The following entities are considered eligible applicants:
      • Governmental Entities: municipalities, including counties, cities, towns, villages; improvement district within a county, city, town or village; municipal corporations; soil and water conservation districts; school districts; community colleges; and Indian nations or tribes recognized by the State or the United States with a reservation wholly or partly within the boundaries of New York State.
      • Not-For-Profit Corporations: an organization that is subject to New York State’s Not-For-Profit Corporation Law and is qualified for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code.
  • Eligible project locations:
    • Projects must be implemented on non-state-owned properties or alongside a state-owned roadway in a city, town or village in a location where they provide a public benefit.
    • Project locations on private property must be no more than ten feet beyond the municipal right-of-way.
      • State law authorizes the use of public resources on private property if a public benefit is primarily served by that expenditure. 
  • Match requirements:
    • Tree Planting or Tree Maintenance projects: Applicants must match at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the requested amount of grant funding for Tree Planting and Tree Maintenance projects.
    • Tree Inventory or Community Forest Management Plan projects: Applicants are not required to provide a match for Tree Inventory or Community Forest Management Plan projects.

Preferences:

  • Partnership projects are encouraged.
  • Proposed projects that build partnerships and/or encourage volunteerism will receive points in the evaluation of an application.