DEEP: DEEP Announces Urban Forestry Grants

2014 Press Release
April 14, 2014
 
DEEP Announces Urban Forestry Grants
 
Funds for Tree Planting and Tree Management in 15 Communities
 
With the coming of Arbor Day, April 25, Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today announced 15 urban forestry grants to encourage tree planting and tree management best practices in communities across the state and also designated 19 communities as a Tree City USA for their commitment to tree care during the past year.
 
The largest urban forestry grant of $30,000 was awarded to the Urban Resources Initiative (URI) in New Haven, which will use the funding to advance outreach through a Comprehensive Urban Forestry Marketing Strategy.

The other grants were awarded to:   
 
Bridgeport (2)  Essex   Farmington 
Glastonbury  Hartford  New Britain  
North Canaan   Norwalk   Ridgefield  
Stratford  Waterford   West Haven   
 
 
“Through these grants we are encouraging scenic beauty and healthy eco-systems in our communities,” said DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee. “These grants also support the work and recommendations of the state Vegetative Management Task Force and Governor Malloy’s Two Storm Panel by ensuring that we plant the ‘right trees’ in the ‘right places,’ that urban trees are properly pruned and managed, and that we continue to provide a foundation for coordination and communication among local tree wardens, residents, and the electric utility companies.” 
 
Funds for the URI grant were made available by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service through the State and Private Forestry Program. Funds for the remaining grants were available as a result of the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  RGGI is a multi-state program designed to control carbon emissions from facilities that generate electricity.
 
URI, located in New Haven, is a “not-for-profit” university partnership that fosters land stewardship, promotes environmental education and advances the practice of urban forestry.  URI will use their funding to support a position dedicated to program outreach to various constituencies throughout the City of New Haven. The results of this effort will be used to provide guidance to other urban forestry programs around the state. 
 
Tree City USA
 
Nineteen Connecticut communities were designated Tree Cities USA for their exemplary tree care and maintenance program.  In addition, the University of Connecticut (UConn) earned the designation of being Connecticut’s first ever Tree Campus USA.  UConn is now one of only about 200 schools so honored across the country. 
 
“The standards of Tree City and Tree Campus USA set a high bar.  We are pleased that we have communities that have been able to demonstrate their strong commitment to urban trees and the improvement in the quality of life that trees bring,” said Chris Martin, DEEP’s Director of Forestry.
“UConn and each of these 19 communities should be very proud of what they have accomplished.”
 
In addition to being designated Tree Cities USA, Norwalk and Wethersfield will be presented with Growth Awards by the Arbor Day Foundation.  To qualify for a Growth Award, these communities demonstrated a commitment to expanding their tree care programs.  These awards will be presented at local Arbor Day events. 
 
Stamford and Fairfield have been Tree Cities USA the longest – each having been so designated for 26 years.  Two communities, Norwalk and Monroe, are celebrating 10 years as Tree Cities.
 

Urban Forestry Grant Summaries
 
Outreach Grant Initiative (funded by the US Forest Service, State and Private Forestry)
Grant recipients have also committed funding in an amount equal to their grant award.
 
Town: New Haven
Grant Applicant: Urban Resources Initiative
Grant Title: Comprehensive Urban Forestry Marketing Strategy: Outreach for Two Types of Initiatives
Amount Awarded:  $30,000
Brief Summary:  Funding will go to help support a position dedicated to program outreach to various constituencies throughout the City of New Haven, in a way that will provide guidance to other urban forestry programs around the state.
 
America the Beautiful Grants (funded by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative)
 
Town: Statewide
Grant Applicant: Tree Wardens Association
Grant Title: Website Redesign for Improved Education and Outreach
Amount Awarded:  $1,300
Brief Summary:  Grant will allow the Association to upgrade and re-energize their website.  This is particularly timely in the context of the new qualification requirements for tree wardens.
 
Town: Bridgeport
Grant Applicant: City of Bridgeport
Grant Title: Bridgeport Watershed Based Tree Planting Program
Amount Awarded:  $12,000
Brief Summary:  To allow the City to do targetted tree plantings in a couple of key City watersheds.
 
Town: Bridgeport
Grant Applicant: Greater Bridgeport Regional Council
Grant Title: Regional Urban Tree Canopy and Assessment
Amount Awarded:  $12,000
Brief Summary:  Six towns are joining together to develop a GIS-based urban tree canopy cover map and then analyze the findings.  The six towns are Bridgeport, Stratford, Fairfield, Monroe, Trumbull and Shelton.
 
Town: Essex
Grant Applicant: Town of Essex
Grant Title: Essex Legacy Tree Project
Amount Awarded:  $1,186
Brief Summary:  Help the Town plant needed replacement trees along streets in Essex.
 
Town: Farmington
Grant Applicant: Town of Farmington
Grant Title: Invasive Species Management Plan and Implementation for Farmington River Floodplain
Amount Awarded:  $12,000
Brief Summary:  The grant will allow the Town of Farmington to hire a consultant who will develop an invasive species management plan for town-owned property along the Farmington River, and to begin implementation of the recommendations.
 
Town: Glastonbury
Grant Applicant: Town of Glastonbury
Grant Title: Glastonbury Riverfront Park - Legacy Tree Walk
Amount Awarded:  $12,000
Brief Summary:  To fund tree planting along a recreational walkway being created by the Town of Glastonbury along the Connecticut River.
 
Town: Hartford
Grant Applicant: Knox Parks, Inc.
Grant Title: Bringing the Forest to the People
Amount Awarded:  $11,100
Brief Summary:  To augment their outreach and communication efforts through the partial funding of an outreach position.
 
Town: New Britain
Grant Applicant: City of New Britain
Grant Title: Urban Tree Canopy Enhancement through Selected Tree Planting
Amount Awarded:  $12,000
Brief Summary:  The City will make use of city-wide canopy data generated through a 2012 ATB grant to guide focused tree planting efforts.
 
Town: North Canaan
Grant Applicant: Town of North Canaan
Grant Title: Replanting Trees in the Town Core
Amount Awarded:  $3,600
Brief Summary:  Targetted tree plantings in Canaan.
 
Town: Norwalk
Grant Applicant: Norwalk Tree Alliance
Grant Title: Norwalk Tree Identification and Educational Project
Amount Awarded:  $7,003
Brief Summary:  The Alliance has been involved in numerous tree related projects throughout the City of Norwalk.  This grant will better allow these projects educate the public through markers and signs.
 
Town: Ridgefield
Grant Applicant: Town of Ridgefield
Grant Title: What Kind of Tree Should I Plant?
Amount Awarded:  $3,250
Brief Summary:  Ridgefield will develop a booklet to be widely distributed that will help people reach an answer to the question as to what kind of tree should they plant.
 
Town: Stratford
Grant Applicant: Soundkeeper Inc.
Grant Title: The Farm at Stratford
Amount Awarded:  $1,600
Brief Summary:  A small fruit tree orchard was established at the Farm at Stratford a few years back, through a previous ATB grant.  This grant will help the Farm’s manager with upkeep and needed replacement trees at the Farm.
 
Town: Waterford
Grant Applicant: Eastern Connecticut Conservation District (ECCD)
Grant Title: Mago Park Demonstration Coastal Riparian Buffer
Amount Awarded:  $6,000
Brief Summary:  Allow the ECCD to establsih a demonstration riparian buffer planting in Mago Park.
 
Town: West Haven
Grant Applicant: City of West Haven
Grant Title: Main Street Shade Tree Project
Amount Awarded:  $4,000
Brief Summary:  The grant will allow the City of West Haven, to continue tree planting projects in town, with this particular project focusing in on planting swamp white oaks along Main Street.
 
Tree City USA Designation
 
Branford  Bridgeport   Brookfield   Danbury
East Hartford  Fairfield   Groton    Hartford
Middletown   Monroe  New Canaan New Haven
Norwalk   Ridgefield   Southbury   Stamford 
West Haven  Wethersfield   Wilton