Apply Now for Urban and Community Forestry Grants

Municipalities, community associations, and non-profits in Delaware can now apply for urban and community forestry grants up to $5,000 from the Delaware Forest Service for a tree planting or tree management project. The deadline to apply is March 4, 2016. There are also Chesapeake Bay Tree Planting Grants available for applicants with land located in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Laurel_Five Points Park Planting
Delaware Forest Service staffers (from left) James Dowd and Francis Cole used an auger to help prepare an area of Five Points Park in Laurel, Sussex County for the planting of 16 trees funded by a $3,120 urban and community forestry grant. The grant was part of $15,800 awarded to fund projects in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Through a federal grant, the Delaware Forest Service offers up to $50,000 each year to communities throughout the state for tree planting, tree care, and tree management projects on publicly owned lands. The applicant must match these grants on a 50-50 basis either non-federal funds or in-kind services (volunteer time, staff time, etc.) within program guidelines. The Delaware Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program’s grant program is open to all municipalities, community associations, and certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations within the State of Delaware.

Grants range from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $5,000 in one of two project categories: tree planting or tree management. Applications are limited to one project in one project category and are judged on a competitive basis by a grant committee of the Delaware Community Forestry Council. Eligible projects must be performed on public lands within the community. Priority is given to first time applicants, Tree Friendly Communities, and applicants that have passed an Urban Tree Canopy Goal Resolution (only applies to Municipalities).

A free workshop to help participants complete the application process will be held on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Delaware Center for Horticulture at 1810 N. DuPont St, Wilmington, DE 19806  Contact: Vikram Krishnamurthy, Phone:(302) 658-6262

Please register by January 15 at http://goo.gl/mBp4Db

Click here for: Prior Urban and Community Grant Winners

Completed applications should be mailed to:

 Delaware Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program
2320 S. DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19901

Examples of activities eligible for grant funding can include:

  • Tree Planting
  • Hazard Tree Mitigation
  • Development of a Professional Tree Inventory

Resources:

Funds can only be utilized on public property owned by the municipality, HOA, or nonprofit organization.

2016 Urban and Community Grant Application Materials

REQUIRED ELEMENTS

  1. Contact Information
  2. Project Description
  3. Qualified Match
  4. Work Summary (Three Bids on Letterhead or Copy of Signed Contract)
  5. Site Map with tree species and locations identified by address
  6. Signature Page

 To be considered for ranking, applications needed to clearly and concisely address the required elements.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

All grants are ranked according to the following criteria:

  1. Overall project quality/community need
  2. Project encourages sustainable urban forestry through management planning, proper tree care or sustaining/ maintaining urban tree canopy.
  3. The project mitigates tree hazard(s) – applicable only for management grants
  4. Increases tree canopy – applicable only for planting grants
  5. Applicant has worked with DFS on a project to address DFS state forest strategies
  6. Municipality has an implemented an Urban Tree Canopy Goal Resolution (Municipalities) or is a current Tree Friendly Community

The Delaware Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program is committed to providing a range of technical and informational assistance to residents of communities in the First State.

For more information, contact:
Kesha Braunskill, Delaware Forest Service (DFS) Urban Forestry Administrator
Office: (302) 659-6704 or (302) 698-4578, Kesha.Braunskill@delaware.gov


Delaware Forest Service’s 2015 Arbor Day School Poster Contest

 

This winning poster from a previous contest by Rachel Winston illustrates the 2015 Arbor Day Poster Contest theme: "Trees are terrific... inside and out!"
This winning poster from a prior contest by Rachel Winston illustrates the 2015 Arbor Day School Poster Contest theme: “Trees are terrific… inside and out!” Last year, more than 105 classes in 41 schools participated in the annual competition.

Delaware Forest Service’s 2015 Arbor Day Poster Contest and Free Seedling Program The Delaware Forest Service is holding its annual Arbor Day School Poster Contest, open to all Delaware students in grades K to 5. Public, private and home schools are encouraged to participate and posters are welcome from after-school groups and youth organizations. This year’s contest theme is “Trees are Terrific… Inside and Out.” To participate, teachers must register their classes by March 13 and submit posters by the deadline of March 27. As in previous years, classes that participate can also request free pine seedlings on a first-come, first-served basis.

This year’s theme is designed to teach students about the structural components of trees and how these components help a tree function. This lesson can be adapted for grades K to 5 and makes an excellent addition to the K-5 science curriculum. The poster contest is also an important way for students to learn more about the role trees play in community health and well-being and can help students foster an appreciation for the natural world around them. As always, the Delaware Forest Service will provide all participating classes with free loblolly pine seedlings. The web link for contest registration is at http://2015arbordaycontest.eventbrite.com. Teachers can use the site to:

  1. Register for participation in the 2015 contest
  2. Reserve pine seedlings for students
  3. Access the poster guidelines and rules

Important dates:

  1. Deadline to register and reserve free seedlings: March 13, 2015
  2. Deadline to submit posters for state contest: March 27, 2015
  3. State Award Ceremony: Week of May 6, 2015 (tentative based on Governor Markell’s schedule)
  4. Last year’s winning posters:  http://delawaretrees.com/2014arbordaypostercontest.html
  5. Seedling delivery: Week of April 20, 2015
  6. 2015 Arbor Day in Delaware: Friday, April 24

State Judging Criteria On a scale of 1-5, the following criteria are used to judge posters on the county and state level. These should be kept in mind when submitting posters:

  1. Use of Theme
  2. Originality
  3. Neatness
  4. Artistic Expression

Prizes Awarded to Winners A winner for each county (New Castle, Kent, and Sussex) will be selected for each entry category (Grades K, 1-2, 3-4, and 5). From these 12 winners, an overall state winner will be selected to represent Delaware as we celebrate Arbor Day 2015. Please note: the National Arbor Day Foundation is no longer hosting a National Poster Contest for fifth grade winners. The Delaware Forest Service is committed to continuing the Arbor Day Poster Contest at the state level. County winners receive:

  1. $25 gift card
  2. ceremonial tree planting held at their school
  3. invitation to the State Arbor Day Ceremony (attended by the Governor)
  4. “Tree inspired” children’s book
  5. winning posters will be reprinted on canvas, framed for display, and given to winner as a keepsake
  6. winning posters will be displayed online. Please visit delawaretrees.com to see the 2014 Arbor Day winners.
  7. In addition to the previous prizes, the State Winner also receives an additional $25 gift card.

Judges will be selected by the Contest Coordinator and judging will take place at the Delaware Department of Agriculture in Dover. Winners will be announced in April and honored at the 2015 State Arbor Day Ceremony with Governor Jack A. Markell.

Posters must be received by March 27, 2015.

Entries should be mailed or delivered to:

Ashley Peebles, Contest Coordinator – Delaware Forest Service
2320 S. DuPont Highway Dover, DE 19901
Phone: (302) 698-4551
Email: ashley.peebles@delaware.gov

Poster guidelines and rules can be found HERE.
Lesson plan and activity guide can be found HERE.

For those interested in programs designed to increase TEACHER knowledge in trees and roles of community trees and for grant opportunities to make your school more “green,” visit www.plt.org In 2014, more than 105 classes from 41 private, public, and home schools, and youth groups participated in the annual contest, and winners were honored at the state’s Arbor Day Ceremony at McIlvaine Early Childhood Center in Magnolia.

Last year, over 3,500 seedlings were distributed to students through the annual Free Seedling Program. As they have for many years, senior volunteers from the Modern Maturity Center’s RSVP Program in Dover wrapped tree seedlings for distribution to Delaware schoolchildren. Classrooms must participate in the Arbor Day Poster Contest to be eligible for free seedlings and tree programs. Delaware Forest Service staff delivered the seedlings to public and private schools statewide.


Delaware Forest Service helps streetscape project take root in Georgetown

From left, Delaware Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator Kyle Hoyd joins Georgetown Towm Manager Eugene Dvornick and DFS urban forester Kesha Braunskill outside the town hall building along East Market Street, where 18 new trees were planted as part of a $37,000 streetscape improvement project.
From left, Delaware Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator Kyle Hoyd joins Georgetown Town Manager Eugene Dvornick and DFS urban forester Kesha Braunskill outside the town hall building along East Market Street, where 18 new trees were planted as part of a $37,000 streetscape improvement project.

The Delaware Forest Service (DFS) funded a downtown streetscape improvement and tree planting project in the Town of Georgetown, highlighted by this week’s planting of 18 new cherry and lilac trees along East Market Street near the Sussex County Courthouse. Total cost of the project was estimated at $37,000. The DFS’ Urban and Community Forestry Streetscape Program – which offers a 50-50 match to recipients – provided $17,000, which Georgetown officials matched with almost $20,000 in project expenses and in-kind services.

In the first phase of the project,  Georgetown’s Department of Public Works spent two weeks removing the old trees, many of which were either poorly adapted to the sites or suffered from disease or other environmental stress. During that time, workers also conducted extensive excavation of the existing soil in the tree pits,  which was eventually replaced with a special 50-50 mix of topsoil and organic matter to help ensure survivability.

The second phase – the actual tree planting – took place under sunny skies this week. Kyle Hoyd and Kesha Braunskill of the DFS’ Urban and Community Forestry Program supervised the work by Bridgeville’s Nanticoke Nursery and Landscaping, which was awarded the contract to provide the soil, supply the new trees, and complete the project according to Forest Service specifications. A total of 18 trees – nine Okame cherry trees and nine Japanese Ivory Silk Lilac trees – were planted in the newly-excavated sites. These two species, though not native to Delaware, were selected for planting by forestry officials for their high tolerance to environmental stresses common to urban areas and the fact that they are unlikely to outgrow the site constraints. The cherry and lilac trees will also provide beauty and visual appeal to the downtown area, providing an attractive climate for businesses and residents alike.

From left, Kyle Hoyd and Kesha Braunskill of the Delaware Forest Service's urban and community forestry program carefully remove the wire surrounding a new lilac tree planted as part of the downtown streetscape improvement project for Georgetown's East Market Street area.
From left, Kyle Hoyd and Kesha Braunskill of the Delaware Forest Service’s urban and community forestry program carefully remove the wire mesh surrounding a new lilac tree planted as part of the downtown streetscape improvement project for Georgetown’s East Market Street area.

From left, the Delaware Forest Service's Kyle Hoyd and Kesha Braunskill discuss the Georgetown East Market Street improvement project with Mike Milligan of Bridgeville's Nanticoke Nursery and Landscaping, which provided the new trees and completed the planting operation.
From left, the Delaware Forest Service’s Kyle Hoyd and Kesha Braunskill discuss the Georgetown East Market Street improvement project with Mike Milligan of Bridgeville’s Nanticoke Nursery and Landscaping, which provided the new trees and completed the planting operation.

From left, Kesha Braunskill and Kyle Hoyd of the Delaware Forest Service's urban and community forestry program, inspect a new lilac tree planted outside the Sussex County Courthouse on Georgetown's East Market Street. The $37,000 streetscape improvement project was a cooperative effort between town officials and forestry staff that will enhance and beautify the downtown area.
From left, Kesha Braunskill and Kyle Hoyd of the Delaware Forest Service’s urban and community forestry program inspect a new lilac tree that was planted outside the Sussex County Courthouse on Georgetown’s East Market Street. The $37,000 streetscape improvement project was a cooperative effort between town officials and the state’s forestry program that seeks to enhance and beautify the downtown area.

From left, Delaware Forest Service urban foresters Kesha Braunskill and Kyle Hoyd discuss the tree planting project with Mike Milligan of Bridgeville's Nanticoke Nursery and Landscaping, which performed the work and supplied the new trees.
From left, Delaware Forest Service urban foresters Kesha Braunskill and Kyle Hoyd discuss Georgetown’s East Market Street civic improvement project with Mike Milligan of Bridgeville’s Nanticoke Nursery and Landscaping, which performed the work and supplied the trees.

Across from Georgetown's Sussex County Courthouse building, Kyle Hoyd of the Delaware Forest Service prepares a new lilac tree for planting as part of a $37,000 streetscape improvement project made possible by an urban and community forestry grant.
Across from Georgetown’s Sussex County Courthouse, Kyle Hoyd of the Delaware Forest Service prepares a new lilac tree for planting as part of a $37,000 streetscape improvement project that was partially funded by an urban and community forestry grant.

The final phase – installation of new protective tree grates – is expected to take place by mid-November. The existing iron grates, which suffered past damage by motor vehicles or were modified to accomodate the previously over-sized trees – will be replaced at the time the new ones are installed.

For more information, contact: Kyle Hoyd, Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator, Delaware Forest Service, 302-698-4578. Email: kyle.hoyd@delaware.gov.


Delaware Forest Service offers “Trees for the Bay” in partnership with DNREC’s rain barrel program

DOVER (March 28, 2013) – In partnership with DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship’s rain barrels program, the Delaware Forest Service is inviting residents of Delaware communities within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to “buy a rain barrel … get a free tree” through the Forest Service’s new “Trees for the Bay” program. 

For each purchase of a discounted rain barrel on Wednesday, April 17 in Kent County and Thursday, April 18 in Sussex County, Delaware residents who live in eligible zip codes will receive a voucher worth $125 toward the purchase of a qualifying tree(s) at participating nursery and garden centers. Additional rain barrel purchases to qualifying residents will be eligible for additional vouchers, while supplies last on a first-come, first-served basis.

Available through DNREC’s Nonpoint Source Program, the heavy-duty plastic rain barrels are for sale to Delaware residents at a discounted price of $59 each. Tree vouchers will be available to Chesapeake Bay Watershed residents when purchasing rain barrels at these pickup locations: 

  • Kent County: Wednesday, April 17 between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or until all barrels are sold, at the DNREC State Fair Building, located off Route 13 in Harrington on the north end of the Delaware State Fairgrounds just past the Centre Ice Rink.
     
  • Sussex County: Thursday, April 18 between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or until all barrels are sold, at the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Lewes Facility, next to the Lewes boat ramp, located at 901 Pilottown Road, Lewes. 

Vouchers are available only to those who reside in the following Delaware communities, which are located within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed:

COMMUNITY ZIP COMMUNITY ZIP
Bethel 19931 Georgetown 19947
Blades 19973 Greenwood 19950
Bridgeville 19933 Harrington 19952
Clayton 19938 Hartly 19953
Delmar 19940 Laurel 19956
Ellendale 19941 Marydel 19964
Farmington 19942 Seaford 19973

Vouchers must be redeemed by Sunday, May 5 at these participating nurseries and garden centers:

  • Bess Buds, 34593 Sussex Highway, Laurel, 302-875-2507
  • Jeff’s Greenhouse and Gift Shop, 7781 Main Street, Bethel, 800-276-3420
  • Barton’s Landscaping/Lawn Co., 20689 Sussex Highway, Seaford, 302-629-9645

Vouchers are not redeemable for the following tree species (which are not recommended and/or considered invasive species): ash, northern red oak, Leyland-cypress, hemlock, Japanese black pine, Australian pine, American elm, Norway maple, Tree of Heaven, Paulownia, mimosa, white mulberry, Chinese elm, any white-barked birch and any species or variety of pear.

The Delaware Forest Service and DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship both recognize the important role trees play in cleaning our air and water while enhancing the quality of life for Delaware residents. Trees reduce soil erosion and sedimentation, remove excess nutrients, and filter harmful pollutants before they make their way into the tributaries, streams and rivers within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

The Delaware Forest Service’s Trees for the Bay program is underwritten by federal funds designed to help communities meet the water quality goals outlined in the Chesapeake Bay’s Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP). For more details, visit
http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/swc/wa/Pages/Chesapeake_Wip.aspx.

For more information about the Forest Service’s Trees for the Bay program, please visit http://delawaretrees.com/trees-for-the-bay, or contact Kyle Hoyd, Delaware Forest Service, at 302-698-4578 or email kyle.hoyd@delaware.gov.

 For more information about DNREC’s discounted rain barrel program, please call Sharon Webb, Division of Watershed Stewardship, Nonpoint Source Program, at 302-739-9922, or email sharon.webb@delaware.gov.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902, or John Petersen, Delaware Forest Service, 302-698-4552.

Vol. 43, No. 117

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