Over $2 million in Environmental Protection Fund grants awarded in 2014 for urban forestry projects that support tree plantings and improve quality of life
Nearly $930,000 in state grants have been awarded for 40 urban forestry projects in communities across New York to help protect air, water and natural resources, and enhance urban communities, State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. Combined with the urban forest grants announced on Earth Day in April ($797,437) and October ($280,391), New York awarded more than $2 million in urban forest grants in 2014.
"Urban forestry programs are vital to creating a vibrant environment that provides clean air, clean water, energy savings, robust habitats and a high quality of life for New Yorkers," Martens said. "Thanks to Gov. Cuomo and the State Legislature providing Environmental Protection Funds, New York is able to offer this critical assistance to help improve the environment, support outdoor recreation and enhance economic conditions across the state."
The urban forestry grants are part of New York's ongoing initiatives to address climate change and environmental justice, providing funding to expand the number of trees in areas that often have limited space. The grants are provided to communities through the state's Environmental Protection Fund. Projects target local environmental needs and will benefit the community and the environment.
In addition to overseeing the grants, DEC's urban and community forestry program provides technical assistance to communities through local DEC urban foresters and ReLeaf volunteers.
DEC selected award recipients from 145 applications, which were scored competitively. Recipients include several projects on Long Island for reforestation in areas affected by "Superstorm" Sandy, as well as efforts to restore forest canopy lost because of invasive species such as the Emerald Ash Borer or the Asian Long Horned Beetle.