Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the Delaware Forestry Association (DFA) will present its 2017 “Tree Farmer of the Year” award on Thursday, March 23 at its annual banquet and meeting at the Bridgeville Fire Hall, 311 Market Street, Bridgeville, Delaware 19933, (302) 337-7272. Tickets are $27 for adults and free for children under 12. Reservations are kindly requested by March 17. Forms are available at delawareforest.com
The Delaware Forest Service (DFS) is offering up to $4,500 in grants to help fire companies in the First State improve their readiness and ability to fight wildfires. The deadline is May 1 and the form is available on-line. Funded by the U.S. Forest Service, the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) program has provided more than 120 grants worth almost $300,000 to Delaware volunteer fire companies over the past 10 years. All grants require a 50-50 cost-share match and priority will be given to applicants that have not received funding in the past three years.
The Delaware Forest Service is seeking entries for its annual Arbor Day Poster Contest, open to students in grades K to 5 from all public, private, homeschool, afterschool, and other organized youth groups. Winning posters will be selected from each of the three counties in the following grade categories: Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3 and 4, and Grade 5. The twelve winners will be recognized at the annual Statewide Arbor Day Celebration hosted by Governor Carney in Dover. A tree planting ceremony will be scheduled at each winner’s school and the teacher receives a $50 gift card for classroom supplies. The deadline to register is March 15 with poster submissions due by March 31.
The Delaware Forest Service is closing a picnic pavilion and adjacent parking lot at Redden State Forest due to persistent criminal activity at the site, located on the Jester Tract at Camp Road and Redden Road north of Georgetown, Sussex County.
Designed by Delaware’s first state forester William S. Taber and constructed by conservation work crews in 1936, the rustic pavilion has now become a magnet for lewd conduct, drugs, and other offenses that have occasionally startled and kept away other visitors. While agency officials have no specific timetable for reopening, they plan to use the closure period for renovations and security upgrades that could again allow for public access at the site.
The Delaware Forest Service is now accepting applications for up to $40,000 in urban forestry grants for tree planting or tree management projects on public lands or community open space. Requests can range from $500 to $5,000 and must be matched on a 50-50 basis with non-federal funds or in-kind services (volunteer or staff time, equipment rental, etc.). The program is open to all municipalities, homeowner associations, and non-profit groups within the State of Delaware. In the past 10 years, the program has awarded more than $1 million to fund a wide range of tree projects throughout the First State.
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