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DEC announces $1.4 million in urban forestry grants awarded to communities statewide

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Fri, Dec 18th 2020 05:35 pm

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos announced grant awards totaling $1.4 million for urban forestry projects across the state to help communities inventory, plant and maintain public trees. The grants are part of DEC’s urban and community forestry program, which works to increase public awareness of the importance of trees while helping communities develop and implement comprehensive tree management plans to create healthy forests while enhancing quality of life for residents.

“Healthy community forests provide a host of environmental, economic and social benefits, including wildlife habitat, watershed protection, flood reduction, increased property values, and improved public health,” Seggos said. “Gov. Andrew Cuomo is investing in the health of New York’s communities through the state's Environmental Protection Fund, providing crucial assistance for our state’s vital forests to thrive.”

The 38 projects to receive funding were selected from a total of 154 applications, ranked by cost effectiveness, lasting benefits, use of partnerships, inclusion of outreach and education, and support from local stakeholders. The urban forestry grants complement DEC's ongoing initiatives to address invasive species, climate change, environmental degradation, environmental justice, and urban sprawl. Over the past nine years, New York has funded more than $11.4 million in grants to support projects with a total value of more than $18.3 million.

Western New York awards include:

Cattaraugus County

  • City of Olean – $32,750; tree inventory and management plan

Erie County

  • Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy Inc. – $75,000; tree maintenance
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County – $22,342; education
  • Village of Depew – $25,617; tree inventory and management plan
  • Town of Grand Island – $50,000; tree inventory and management plan

Niagara County

  • City of North Tonawanda – $50,000; tree inventory and management plan

For more information about DEC's urban and community forestry program, visit DEC's website.

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