U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth today announced ten recipients of federal grants totaling $997,998 to benefit the nation’s urban and community forests.
“Urban forests improve our quality of life, shade our homes, provide wildlife habitats, and reduce storm-water runoff,” Bosworth said in making the awards.
The grants will fund projects that will help the Forest Service understand the effects of urban forests on health, crime and energy use. The Forest Service will work with local organizations on communication, education and problem solving, and to help promote the planting and maintenance of healthy urban forests.
Recipients of the cost-share grants were selected from 92 proposals in a competitive process, based on criteria developed by the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC). The NUCFAC is a 15-member advisory council established in 1990 legislation, made up of 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. The council reviews the proposals and makes recommendations to the Forest Service, which makes the awards.
In 2001, grants will support urban and community projects from Seattle, Wash. to Naples, N.Y.
"The 2001 grants will enable a diversity of organizations and institutions to contribute significantly to our knowledge base regarding how urban forests improve the quality of the environment and the quality of human life," according to Deborah Gangloff, chair of NUCFAC and executive director of American Forests, Washington D.C.
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 inception, the Forest Service has supported 102 competitive cost-share proposals that promote urban and community forestry nationwide. Proposals are submitted in a variety of categories selected and announced by NUCFAC in the fall of each year.
Recipients of the 2001 grants for urban and community forestry are:
Category 1: National Assessment of Current Urban and Community Forestry Programs to conduct and disseminate a comprehensive assessment of the nation’s urban and community forestry programs in order to obtain the current status and the future potential of nation-wide programs for long-range planning, development, and implementation.
National Assessment of Current Urban and Community Forestry Programs submitted by HortScience, Inc. in Pleasanton, Calif.
Category 2: Guidebook for Assisting Communities to Develop a Sustainable Urban and Community Forestry Program to develop and produce a comprehensive (model) guidebook that communities can use to create successful and sustainable urban and community forestry programs.
Sustainable Urban and Community Forestry Program Guidebook submitted by The National Arbor Day Foundation in Lincoln, Neb.
Category 3: Creative and Innovative Projects to increase the public’s understanding and knowledge of the value, health and benefits of the urban and community forest.
Our Heritage of Community Trees submitted by the Pennsylvania Urban and Community Forestry Council in University Park, Penn.
Computer Animated Stormwater Runoff Model submitted by the Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky in Fort Wright, Ky.
Web Site Enhancement for arborday.org submitted by The National Arbor Day Foundation in Lincoln, Neb.
Urban Forestry in Schools – A Model for Non-Profits and Educators submitted by Tree-mendous in Seattle, Wash.
Dissemination of an Approach to Integrate Urban Tree Planting in State and Federal Air Quality Improvement Programs submitted by the Davey Resource Group in Naples, N.Y.
Integrating a High-Powered Urban Forest Benefits Model in a User-Friendly, Public Domain Program submitted by the Davey Resource Group in Naples, N.Y.
TreeLink: An “Expanding Canopy” of Urban and Community Forestry Knowledge submitted by Tree-Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Conveying the Power of Trees: A National Outreach Effort submitted by the University of Illinois in Urbana, Ill.