July 10 deadlines for urban & community forestry grants

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 24-May-2010

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Forestry Services, in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and the Oklahoma Urban and Community Forestry Council, is continuing the Urban and Community Forestry Challenge cost-share grant program.

This program, made possible by the 2007 federal Farm Bill, enables Oklahoma to participate in the President’s Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program. Funds are available on a competitive cost-share basis to State and local governments, approved nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and Community tree volunteer groups.

The intent of the Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program is to enable local communities to effectively manage and improve their community forest. Components of a successful community forestry program involve much more than tree planting, but include planning, maintenance, protection, education and training, and utilization of the community forest resource.

One of the most important aspects of urban and community forestry is maintaining a broad base of citizen support. Promotion of volunteerism and involvement of nonprofit organizations will aid in securing citizen support.

A recent state forestry assessment financed (and mandated) by federal resources, focused several pages on challenges in urban forestry (tagged “community forests” in the document).

The following are types of grants available in the Urban and Community Forestry Challenge:

• Public Tree Inventory and Health Assessments

• Planning and management Plans

• Staffing

• Educational

Those may apply for the grants include:

• State and local units of government

• Non-profit organizations with current federal ID number

• Neighborhood Associations with current federal ID number

• Civic groups

• Educational institutions

• Tree volunteer groups with current federal ID number

Applications are due July 23rd, 2010. For more information concerning this grant program and to obtain an application visit: http://www.forestry.ok.gov/ucf-grant-program.

For specific questions or assistance, contact Mark Bays at (405) 522-6158 or mark.bays@oda.state.ok.us.

NOTE: Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report.