DEEP: The Urban Forestry Program

The Urban Forestry Program

{A View of New Haven from East Rock}

The Urban Forestry Program provides opportunities for municipalities, organizations and individuals to become engaged in effective urban forestry activities.  An important goal of the program is improved care and maintenance of the urban forest.
What is the Urban Forest? Urban forests consist of those trees most closely associated with the human-developed part of the environment.  These forests exists in all communities in Connecticut, from the smallest village to the most-densely population city. The trees of the urban forest are those that people encounter most on a regular basis.  They are woven into and around our built infrastructure, provide benefits directly to the communities within the state and have a substantial impact on people's lives.

America the Beautiful Grant Program:
The ATB Program is currently not accepting applications.  It is not expected that this situation will change during the current fiscal year.  When this situation does change and ATB grants are again to be offered, that information will be listed here.  Please, continue to make use of the services of the DEEP Forestry Urban Forestry Program, including contacting the state coordinator for further assistance on urban forestry related matters.  Also, please also visit the Trees and Urban Forests web page.

The ATB Grant Program provides grants of up to $12,000 to assist municipalities and non-profits in local urban forestry efforts.  Funding for this program is through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Technical Assistance:

Forestry staff provide technical assistance to municipal tree workers, tree board members, state park workers and others. 
Staff also work with local communities to assist them in gaining a better understanding of their urban forest.  Examples include:

The Connecticut Urban Forest Council brings together individuals from throughout Connecticut who are in an urban forestry leadership role.  A range of organizations are represented on the council, including:
  • non-profits,
  • private tree care,
  • urban forestry consulting,
  • public utilities.
  • tree wardens,
  • municipal government and
  • educational institutions.  

Learn more about the Connecticut Urban Forest Council.

Tree City USA and Tree Campus USA:

Eighteen communities in Connecticut have currently been designated as Tree Cities USA.  Additionally, one college campus, the University of Connecticut, has been designated as a Tree Campus USA.

The criteria for designating a community as a Tree City USA and for the receipt of a Growth Award are established by the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF).  The ADF reviews applications for these designations.  For an application to be considered complete, it must receive the support of the State Forester. 

The Urban Forestry Program in Connecticut is very active in working with the towns and cities throughout the state, helping them to understand and achieve the qualifying standards for Tree City USA. 

To learn more about Connecticut's Tree Cities and its Tree Campus, visit the Connecticut Tree City USA webpage. 

To learn more about the program at the national level, please visit the Arbor Day Foundation web site.

Arbor Day recognizes the importance of trees in our neighborhoods, towns, cities and daily life.  In Connecticut, Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April. 

Organizations and individuals throughout the state use this day as an occasion to

  • plant and honor trees, and
  • to hold ceremonies celebrating the contributions made by trees. 

The Division of Forestry frequently participates in these celebrations.  For example, Arbor Day is the traditional date for the awarding of Tree City USA honors.

While Arbor Day initially came about through the efforts of J. Morton Sterling in Nebraska, citizens of Connecticut also made significant contributions to the development of Arbor Day.  One such individual was Birdsey Grant Northrop of Kent, CT.   

Trees and Urban Forests: Learn More (General information)

The Urban Forest Inventory and Analysis

Use of Wood from the Urban Forest - Study conducted in 2014 by Division of Forestry   
Publication  |  Web pages - Urban Wood Utilization in Connecticut 

The State Vegetation Management Task Force

USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry

Connecticut Tree Wardens

Roadside Keepers: Talking with Tree Wardens (article in CT Woodlands magazine)

In Defense of Tall Trees (article in CT Woodlands magazine)

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station - (for questions relating to the health of individual trees and shrubs)

Emerald ash borer  |  Asian longhorned beetle

To learn more about the Urban Forestry Program, contact:

Chris Donnelly, Urban Forestry Coordinator  
DEEP Forestry
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106


Content last updated June 15, 2018