Delaware’s Urban and Community Forestry Program is once again offering competitive matching grants up to $5,000 for tree planting or tree management projects on public land. The grants – open to municipalities, homeowner associations, and certified 501(c)(3) non-profits in the State of Delaware – require a 50-50 match in either cash (non-federal funds) or in-kind services, including volunteer or staff time, equipment rental, or supplies. Requests can range from $500 to a maximum of $5,000 in one of two project categories: tree planting or tree management (i.e., professional tree inventory, hazardous tree removal, or pruning). This year’s deadline is Friday, March 5, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.
Smokey Bear visited St. Anne’s Episcopal School to highlight the importance of fire safety and prevention during National Fire Prevention Week. Smokey’s timeless message – “Only you can prevent wildfires!” – has more resonance this year, as wildfires have wreaked destruction across many western states: the National Interagency Fire Center reports that more than 45,000 fires have burned over 7.9 million acres – including 4 million acres in California– a 43 percent increase over 2019.
Delaware’s wildfire crew is returning to the First State after successfully battling blazes on a 14-day assignment in Arizona and California. Delaware’s 21-person team mobilized at Blackbird State Forest in Smyrna on August 28. On August 30 they were assigned to the Griffin Fire, a 61,821-acre blaze in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest in the U.S. Forest Service’s Southwest Region. They subsequently took on the Rockhouse Fire, a 19,506-acre blaze on land managed by the San Carlos Agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, located 22 miles southeast of San Carlos, AZ. On September 9, they were transferred to the Southern California Geographic Area and assigned to the Valley Fire, which has consumed 17,665 acres in the Cleveland National Forest and located 19 miles northeast of Chula Vista, CA. The crew is expected to arrive back at Blackbird State Forest in Smyrna, Delaware by Friday afternoon, September 18.
The Delaware Forest Service is sending its wildfire crew to New Mexico as a steep increase in lightning-caused fires has pushed the National Preparedness Level to 5 on a 5-point scale, its highest level. Critical fire weather continues throughout the West. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the majority of the fire activity remains in Arizona and California, where over 1.5 million acres have burned. So far this year, more than 38,767 fires have burned 3.7 million acres.
Delaware has trained more than 600 firefighters since 1996 and battled wildfires in numerous states, including: Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, California, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. http://de.gov/wildfire
Delaware’s urban forestry program director Kesha Braunskill has been named to the Stakeholder Council of the U.S. Chapter of 1t.org, an international effort to plant one trillion trees launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The U.S. is home to the first regional chapter of 1t.org. The U.S. chapter is supported by the 1t.org U.S. Stakeholder Council, a bipartisan group of senior-level representatives from government, business, civil society and academia who are informing the strategic direction of the initiative.