Urban Forestry Grants Up to $5,000 Now Available

 

The urban forestry grant program has provided $1.79 million for 577 grants and planted over 14,000 trees. In 2020, the Delaware Forest Service provided more than $65,000 for 17 tree projects in the First State. 

de.gov/treegrantdashboard

Delmar tree planting project
PHOTO: This tree planting project in the Town of Delmar was funded by a Delaware Forest Service urban and community grant.

 

DOVER, Del. — 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 application deadline is Friday, March 5, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.

Applications will be 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 will be given to first time applicants, Tree Friendly Communities, and applicants that have passed an Urban Tree Canopy Goal Resolution (only applies to Municipalities). Complete details at delawaretrees.com.

“Our annual community grants are focused on increasing tree canopy in Delaware by promoting quality tree planting and management projects,” said Kesha Braunskill, Urban and Community Forestry Program Director. “These projects can be the basis for sustainable urban and community forestry programs throughout the First State. Everyone can enjoy the numerous benefits that trees have to offer: air and water quality improvement, increased property values, and natural beauty.”

  • All applicants are REQUIRED to schedule an on-site visit by U&CF program staff, who can review their project and answer any questions.
  • Site visits must be requested no later than February 19 and all visits completed by February 26.
  • All applicants MUST use the ONLINE form (see link below) to submit their forms and attach all of the necessary documentation (plan, bids, estimates, etc.). Applicants should be prepared to complete the form in one sitting: there is no way to ensure your information will be saved and returned to later.

click the image to go to the online form

2021 Guidelines and Forms

Resource Links

Core Requirements

  • Grant requests from a minimum of $500 to maximum of $5,000
  • Grants must be matched with cash (non-federal funds) or in-kind services such as volunteer hours
  • One project in one category: planting or management (professional inventory, pruning, or hazardous tree removal)
  • Project must take place on public land or community open space
  • Applicants must have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) – no payment made to individuals.
  • All applicants must schedule a site visit before submitting project (contact emails below)

Urban Forestry Program Contacts

Tree Grant Dashboard

The Urban and Community Forestry Tree Grant Dashboard page provides a visual overview of the history of Delaware’s tree grants. Since its inception, the grant program has awarded 577 grants totaling more than $1.79 million—resulting in the planting of more than 14,000 trees. Details includes the locations and dates of specific grant projects by county, legislative map, or school district.  http://de.gov/treegrantdashboard.

The comprehensive database can list charts of the grants by year, county, and legislative district. The map to the right of the dashboard also allows viewers to zoom in to various parts of the state and then view specific projects by clicking on the blue dot.

As part of its mission, several informative publications, resources, and links are available to help with proper planning and developing effective strategies for tree planting, care, and management.

Email: Kesha Braunskill


DNREC’s Nonpoint Source Program offering free trees to Delaware residents in partnership with DDA’s Forest Service

Delaware residents can go to www.arborday.org/delaware to order a free tree.

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship Nonpoint Source Program is offering a free tree to Delaware residents in partnership with the Delaware Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry program within the Department of Agriculture. The free tree program is part of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Community Canopy Project to expand tree canopies in cities and towns across the country. Trees can be reserved at www.arborday.org/delaware.

Trees planted in strategic locations around a house can provide homeowners with numerous benefits, including: cleaner air and water, improved property values, less storm water runoff and flooding, and lower energy bills through reduced heating and cooling costs.

An online tool on the Arbor Day Foundation site helps Delawareans estimate the annual energy savings that can result from planting trees in the most strategic location near their homes or businesses. Residents can reserve one tree per household, and are expected to care for and plant their trees in the location suggested by the online tool. Quantities of trees are limited and the types of trees offered include the following: American sycamore, black tupelo, shadblow, serviceberry, swamp white oak, and tulip tree.

The program will continue until all 1,200 trees are reserved. Smaller trees will be delivered directly to homeowners at their mailing address. The larger two-to-four foot tall trees will be available for pickup from 3-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 or 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Delaware Department of Agriculture at 2320 South DuPont Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

“Not only does this project help beautify our city’s landscape, it also provides immense environmental benefits that can help Dover residents save money on their energy bills,” said Marcia Fox, DNREC Nonpoint Source Program manager and chair of the state’s Urban and Community Forestry Council.

The “Community Canopy Project” online tool was created by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Davey Institute, a division of Davey Tree Expert Co., and uses peer-reviewed scientific research from the USDA Forest Service’s i-Tree software to calculate estimated benefits. In addition to providing approximate energy savings, the tool also estimates the trees’ other benefits, including cleaner air, reduced carbon dioxide emissions, and improved storm water management.

For more information about reserving a tree, please call 855-234-3801.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 48, No. 282

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Delaware Forest Service awards $58,000 for 16 tree planting projects

Delaware urban grant project
Urban and community trees provide numerous benefits, including better air and water quality, storm water retention, and increased property values.

DOVER – The Delaware Forest Service has awarded $58,244 to fund 16 tree planting projects throughout the First State. Since 2007, the agency has given more than $1.7 million to cities, towns and homeowner groups to support community tree efforts that take place on public lands. Recipients provide a 50-50 cost-share match in either non-federal funds or in-kind services such as volunteer time, equipment, or donated supplies.

“These urban forestry grants are a central part of our agency’s efforts to meet our statewide program goals. Tree planting projects help to bring people together, build awareness about the importance of proper tree care in community settings, and highlight the many benefits of increasing tree canopy,” said Kesha Braunskill, Delaware Forest Service’s urban and community forestry director.

Delaware’s Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program is a competitive process open to all municipalities, community associations, and certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations in the State of Delaware. Funds can only be utilized on public property owned by the municipality, HOA, or nonprofit organization. Grants ranged from $500 to a maximum of $5,000 in two project categories: tree planting or tree management. Applications were limited to one project in one category and were judged on a competitive basis by the grant committee of the Delaware Community Forestry Council. Eligible projects must be performed on public lands within the community. Priority was given to first time applicants, Tree Friendly Communities, and applicants that have passed an Urban Tree Canopy Goal Resolution (only applies to Municipalities).

2018 Delaware Urban and Community Forestry Grants

Community or Municipality City or Town County Amount
Town of Elsmere Elsmere New Castle $5,000
Spring Arbor Community Association Middletown New Castle $5,000
Academy Hill – Phase V Newark New Castle $5,000
Westover Hills – Section C Wilmington New Castle $1,350
Highlands Community Association Wilmington New Castle $1,645
City of Dover Dover Kent $1,350
Longacre Village Dover Kent $3,190
Spring Meadow Community Smyrna Kent $5,000
Delaware Botanic Gardens, Inc Dagsboro Sussex $5,000
Town of Ellendale Ellendale Sussex $2,345
The Village of Five Points Lewes Sussex $3,000
Bay Crossing Lewes Sussex $3,695
City of Lewes Lewes Sussex $3,921
James Farm Ecological Preserve Ocean View Sussex $4,978
The Grande at Canal Pointe Rehoboth Beach Sussex $3,475
The Meadows at Old Landing Rehoboth Beach Sussex $4,295
TOTAL $58,244

For more information, contact Kesha Braunskill, kesha.braunskill@delaware.gov or 302-698-4578.

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Delaware Forest Service awards $58,409 in urban and community forestry grants

DOVER, Del. – 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.

Crossroad Community Church
This project at Crossroad Community Church in Georgetown, Sussex County was made possible by a Delaware Forest Service urban forestry grant targeted to communities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

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. Applications were limited to one project in one project category and were judged on a competitive basis by a grant committee of the Delaware Urban and Community Forestry Council. Eligible projects must be performed on public lands within the community. Priority is given to first time applicants, Tree City USA’s, Tree Friendly Communities, and applicants that have passed an Urban Tree Canopy Goal Resolution (only applies to Municipalities).

EVALUATION CRITERIA

All grants were 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) 698-4578, Kesha.Braunskill@delaware.gov

Applications for the next round of grants will be available early in 2018.

List of 2017 Delaware Urban and Community Forestry Grants:

TREE PLANTING GRANTS
Community, HOA, or Nonprofit County Amount
Fairthorne New Castle $2,658.00
Tavistock Civic Association New Castle $2,260.00
Highlands Community New Castle $1,683.00
Albert Einstein Academy New Castle $1,339.00
Port Penn Augustine Beach New Castle $780.00
Town of Smyrna Kent $4,150.00
Dover Air Force Base Kent $4,000.00
City of Rehoboth Sussex $5,000.00
Sterling Crossing Sussex $4,861.00
The Meadows at Old Landing Sussex $4,000.00
City of Lewes Sussex $2,878.00
Sugar Maple Farms Sussex $2,500.00
Total $36,109.00
TREE MANAGEMENT GRANTS
Community, HOA, or Nonprofit County Amount
Edenridge I & II New Castle $4,200.00
Old Swedes Church New Castle $4,000.00
Alapocas New Castle $3,300.00
Pembrey New Castle $2,114.00
Foxfire Homeowners Association New Castle $2,062.00
Village of Ardencroft New Castle $1,966.00
Village of Arden New Castle $1,680.00
Carrcroft New Castle $1,258.00
Arden Club New Castle $255.00
Rehoboth Art League Sussex $1,465.00
Total $22,300.00

 


New online tool to assess community tree canopy in Delaware

DOVER, Del. – The Delaware Forest Service (DFS) has unveiled a new online tool that uses geographic information systems (GIS) software to help cities, towns, and neighborhoods to measure and increase their community tree canopy percentage. The link is: de.gov/treecanopy

Developed by the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s GIS specialist Jimmy Kroon, the tool covers the entire First State: municipalities, homeowner associations, and neighborhoods can assess their current level of tree cover as a starting point to explore opportunities to plant new trees or maintain their existing ones.

This maps shows the Rodney Village subdivision near U.S. 13 in South Dover. A new GIS tool from the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service shows that the community has a current tree canopy level of 31.2 percent.
This maps shows the Rodney Village subdivision near U.S. 13 in South Dover. A new GIS tool from the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service shows that it has 29.8 of its 95.3 acres covered by trees, for a total tree canopy level of 31.2 percent.

Tree canopy is important because trees provide numerous natural benefits for air and water quality, lower heating and cooling costs, a reduction in harmful UV radiation, as well as other environmental and social benefits. In particular, trees mitigate the soil erosion and stream pollution caused by impervious surfaces and storm water run-off in urban areas. Studies show that trees can improve property values and provide scenic beauty, reduce summer peak temperatures, and even improve social ties among neighbors, factors that can help a community attract businesses and residents.  One study found a 10% increase in tree cover was linked to a 12% decrease in crime .

Tree planting at State Street Park in the Town of Delmar.
Tree planting at State Street Park in the Town of Delmar.

Urban tree canopy (UTC) assessment is used to help decision-makers understand their urban forest resources, particularly how much tree canopy currently exists and the amount that could exist.  This enables citizens and public officials to identify “plantable space” to locate trees. The UTC assessment protocols have been applied to dozens of counties, cities, and towns in the United States and Canada. The assessments help inform UTC goals, prioritize tree planting locations, establish urban forestry master plans, and justify spending and potential return on investment (ROI) for urban forestry programs.

odessa
From left, Delaware Forest Service urban forester Dionne Duphily and forest health associate Hannah Small worked on a hazard tree assessment in the Town of Odessa. The DFS has developed a new online GIS tool to help communities measure their tree canopy and develop strategies to maintain and increase it through grants and technical assistance.

 

In Delaware, state forestry staff work with cities, towns, and communities to increase tree canopy through urban grants and technical assistance. Once the baseline of tree canopy has been established, urban foresters can help communities set goals to increase their percentage. According to Kesha Braunskill, Delaware Forest Service’s urban and community forestry program director, the following municipalities have adopted formal resolutions to increase and/or maintain their tree canopy:

  • Arden
  • Ardentown
  • Blades
  • City of New Castle
  • Delaware City
  • Delmar
  • Georgetown
  • Greenwood
  • Henlopen Acres
  • Laurel
  • Lewes
  • Millville
  • Newark
  • Rehoboth
  • Smyrna
  • Wilmington

“We hope this new online tool will help people focus on the many benefits of trees as well as the need to increase tree canopy statewide,” said Braunskill. “We can magnify the numerous benefits of our urban forests by simply planting more trees in our communities and developments.”

The Delaware Forest Service’s goal to keep and increase existing canopy is balanced against a concern that some people are taking out trees unnecessarily. In general, tree removals should be considered when the tree poses a hazard or a risk assessment shows a “safety” or “tree health” issue. In addition to asking the Delaware Forest Service for help, those with concerns are also advised to only consult companies with arborists certified by the International Society for Arboriculture (ISA). Because trees are so beneficial, the advice is generally if you “remove a tree” then “replace a tree.”

As part of the Delaware Forest Service’s annual tree grant process, applicants who seek funding for tree removals must provide for the tree’s replacement, a requirement also adopted by ordinances in Rehoboth, Lewes, and Wilmington. Similarly, every municipality that applies for an urban and community grant must also have a tree canopy goal.

There are currently tree canopy maps in PDF form for all 57 incorporated municipalities, but the new GIS tool allows those outside municipal boundaries to also be aware of the benefits of keeping and increasing their tree cover. Even homeowner associations can set goals: Tavistock in New Castle County, for example, has adopted a tree canopy resolution. The Delaware Forest Service offers technical assistance on tree planting, lists of recommended trees, site evaluation, tree ordinance, and setting tree canopy goals. The agency also sponsors a website, delawaretrees.com, where residents can learn about the work of  the urban and community forestry program and even read a “Tree Owner’s Manual” to learn about how to select, plant, and care for a new tree.

For more information, contact Kesha Braunskill at kesha.braunskill@delaware.gov