The Delaware Forest Service’s urban and community program has awarded $58,409 in grants to 22 municipalities, HOA’s, and nonprofits to fund planting and management projects to improve tree canopy on public lands and open space in the First State. Over the past 10 years, the program has funded more than $1 million in community-based tree projects in Delaware.
Funded by the U.S. Forest Service, Delaware’s Urban and Community Grant Program is open to all municipalities, community associations, and certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations within the State of Delaware. Funds can only be utilized on public property owned by the municipality, HOA, or nonprofit organization. Grants can range from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $5,000 in one of two project categories: tree planting or tree management. All applications require a 50-50 cost-share match in either cash or in-kind services within program guidelines.
A team of 20 wildland firefighters under the direction of the Delaware Forest Service is working with 1,165 personnel currently battling the Fork Complex, a group of lightning-caused fires near Hayfork, California that totals 11,862 acres but is only 7 percent contained. Kyle Hoyd, the Delaware Forest Service’s assistant forestry administrator, summarized the crew’s effort: “We did a burnout with two engine teams on the Peak Fire off of a dozer line and put hand line around several structures in the same area.” Earlier in the week, Hoyd reported that “everyone is doing well” but the “fire is in steep terrain with multiple hazards.”
Thanks to funding from the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program, four former Glatfelter Pulp Wood, Inc. forested parcels totaling 371 acres are now part of Redden State Forest. The completion of the $1.35 million purchase this week marked the final phase of the Green Horizons Forest Legacy Program project in Delaware initiated in 2004 with the purchase of an easement on the 908-acre Ponders Tract near Ellendale.
Governor Jack Markell celebrated Arbor Day by joining over 500 kindergarten students at McIlvaine Early Childhood Center for a ribbon-cutting to unveil the school’s new “Tree Walk & Talk Arboretum.” Gov. Markell also honored winners of the Delaware Forest Service’s annual Arbor School Poster Contest and joined in commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the adoption of the American holly as Delaware’s state tree in 1939.