Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today awarded more than $790,000 in federal cost-share grants to 12 organizations for use with urban and community forestry projects nationwide.
"These grants will enhance our understanding of the nation's urban forest resources by developing useful products," said Johanns. "This research will help us to continue working hand in hand with communities to improve our urban forests and all they bring to our nation's communities."
The grant recipients will use the money to develop products, such as a database for satellite imagery of urban forest canopy, a guidebook on how to start and run a youth tree care program, urban forestry management reports for public works managers, software, research findings, and other educational modules.
The $791,797 in funds will be matched by recipient organizations that will contribute an additional $834,056. The projects include an assessment of invasive exotic plants in urban forests, studying mature tree response to hurricane-related flooding in Northern Gulf Coast communities, and conducting five regional urban trees clean air conferences.
Recipients of the 2006 cost-share grants were selected in a competitive process, based on criteria developed by the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC). NUCFAC reviewed the proposals and made its recommendations to the USDA Forest Service, which awarded the grants.
The 12 recipients are: Friends of the Urban Forest (San Francisco, Calif.); Soundprint Media Center, Inc. (Laurel, Md.); University of Georgia's Center for Urban Agriculture (Griffin, Ga.); American Public Works Association (Kansas City, Mo); Norwalk Tree Alliance, Inc. (Norwalk, Conn.); University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.); West Virginia University (Morgantown, W.Va.); Louisiana State University Agricultural Center (Baton Rouge, La.); University of Georgia (Athens, Ga.); California ReLeaf (Davis, Calif.); National Arbor Day Foundation (Lincoln, Neb.); and Sacramento Tree Foundation (Sacramento, Calif.).
Previous grants resulted in developing community forest plans, methods for identifying the costs and benefits of trees in communities, ways to conserve energy, techniques for communities to care for their forests, and educational programs to promote the importance of urban and community forestry.
Since NUCFAC's establishment under the 1990 Farm Bill, the Forest Service funded 162 competitive cost-share projects recommended by NUCFAC that promote urban and community forestry nationwide. The 15-member council advises the Secretary on the care and management of trees, forests and related natural resources in urban and community settings. NUCFAC members include representatives from communities, universities, non-profit forestry and conservation citizen organizations, landscape and design consultants, the forest product or nursery industry, professional renewable natural resource organizations, and USDA. Members of NUCFAC serve without compensation and dedicate approximately 100 hours each year.
2006 URBAN AND COMMUNITY GRANT RECIPIENTS
CATEGORY 1: Urban and community forestry for and with minority and underserved populations to improve the involvement of minority and underserved populations in the development and delivery of urban and community forestry programs, and improve public and private services to minority and underserved populations.
Guidebook on How to Start and Run a Youth Tree Care Program (Friends of the Urban Forest, San Francisco, Calif.)
|Forest Service Grant||$63,100|
|Matching Institution Grant||$74,160|
Los Bosques en Nuestras Ciudades = The Forests in Our Cities (Soundprint Media Center, Inc., Laurel, Md.)
|Forest Service Grant||$100,305|
|Matching Institution Grant||$108,641|
CATEGORY 2: Advancing the emerging field of green infrastructure and sustainable urban ecosystem development.
Compounding the Impact: Train-the Trainer Urban Forestry Education (University of Georgia's Center for Urban Agriculture, Griffin, Ga.)
|Forest Service Grant||$64,426|
|Matching Institution Grant||$64,426|
Urban Forest Management and Public Works: Improving Communications and Building Capacity (American Public Works Association, Kansas City, Mo.)
|Forest Service Grant||$64,590|
|Matching Institution Grant||$65,789|
CATEGORY 3: Creative and innovative urban and community forestry research and technology development projects to improve our knowledge about the many components within the urban and community forest ecosystem.
High Efficiency Measurement Technology for GIS-Based Street Tree Inventories (Norwalk Tree Alliance, Inc., Norwalk, Conn.)
|Forest Service Grant||$11,700|
|Matching Institution Grant||$25,080|
Assessing Invasive Exotic Plants in Urban Forests (University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky.)
|Forest Service Grant||$121,005|
|Matching Institution Grant||$121,987|
Urban Tree Phenology and Its Economic Implications (West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.Va.)
|Forest Service Grant||$44,419|
|Matching Institution Grant||$44,887|
Mature Tree Response to Hurricane-Related Flooding in Northern Gulf Coast Communities (Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, La.)
|Forest Service Grant||$68,364|
|Matching Institution Grant||$68,634|
CATEGORY 4A: National database for lidar satellite imaging of urban forest canopy to track the size of urban forest canopies
Development and Implementation of a Prototype for Nationwide Urban Forest Canopy Database: A Prototype for the Southeastern U.S. (University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.)
|Forest Service Grant||$135,488|
|Matching Institution Grant||$141,012|
CATEGORY 4B: Grassroots funding initiative to strengthen the urban and community forestry program's visibility and awareness at the community and state level.
Leadership from the Grassroots Up (California ReLeaf, Davis, Calif.)
|Forest Service Grant||$27,150|
|Matching Institution Grant||$28,140|
CATEGORY 4C: Replication and transfer of successful local urban forestry programs to the national urban and community forestry audience.
Five Regional Urban Trees = Clean Air Conferences (National Arbor Day Foundation, Lincoln, Neb.)
|Forest Service Grant||$50,000|
|Matching Institution Grant||$50,000|
Develop and Present a Three-Day Workshop for Sharing the GreenPrint Model (Sacramento Tree Foundation, Sacramento, Calif.)
|Forest Service Grant||$41,250|
|Matching Institution Grant||$41,300|