New York State Celebrates Arbor Day and Awards Additional $1.18 Million Urban and Community Forestry Grants

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New York State Celebrates Arbor Day and Awards Additional $1.18 Million Urban and Community Forestry Grants

Funding Supports Community Tree Projects to Protect Natural Resources, Air and Water Quality

26 Additional Projects Awarded Grants; Total of $2.6 million for 64 Projects Statewide

In celebration of Arbor Day, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that grants totaling $1.18 million have been awarded to communities across the state to inventory, plant, and maintain public trees. The grants are part of the second phase of grants through DEC's Division of Lands and Forests' Urban and Community Forestry Program, which works to increase public awareness of the importance of trees and help communities develop and implement comprehensive tree management plans to create healthy forests while enhancing quality of life.

"Trees are vital to our community life, public health, and our environment," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "New York State is proud to celebrate Arbor Day by awarding grants to 26 outstanding projects in communities across the state to inventory, plant, and maintain public trees. These innovative projects exemplify New York State's commitment to protecting and enhancing our state's natural resources, while also beautifying communities and enhancing quality of life for a greener future."

"Each year, Arbor Day reminds us of the importance of trees and their profound impact on our everyday lives," said Commissioner Seggos. "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. Investing in the health of New York's communities through the State's Environmental Protection Fund is providing crucial assistance to help our state's vital forests to thrive."

The 26 projects receiving funds this year were selected during Phase 2 of the Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) Round 15 grants after additional funding was made available. With today's announcement, a total of $2.6 million is being awarded to 64 projects across the state. The awarded projects were selected from 154 applications, ranked by cost effectiveness, lasting benefits, use of partnerships, inclusion of outreach and education, and support from local stakeholders. The UCF grants complement DEC's ongoing initiatives to address invasive species, climate change, environmental degradation, environmental justice, and urban sprawl.

Over the last nine years, New York State has awarded more than $12.6 million in urban forestry grants to support projects with a total value of more than $20 million.

Grant recipients listed by region are:

CAPITAL REGION

Albany County

  • Town of Colonie - $60,831; Tree Inventory and Management Plan
  • Radix Ecological Sustainability Center - $53,000; Tree Planting

Rensselaer County

  • Village of Castleton-on-Hudson - $21,250; Tree Inventory and Management Plan

CENTRAL NEW YORK

Cayuga County

  • City of Auburn - $23,000; Tree Planting

Cortland County

  • Cortland County Soil and Water Conservation District - $34,500; Tree Inventory and Management Plan

FINGER LAKES

Livingston County

  • Town of Geneseo - $15,000; Tree Maintenance
  • Village of Avon - $50,000; Tree Maintenance

LONG ISLAND

Suffolk County

  • Town of Huntington - $75,000; Tree Inventory and Management Plan

MID-HUDSON VALLEY

Ulster County

  • City of Kingston - $50,000; Tree Planting

Westchester

  • Town of Bedford - $50,000; Tree Maintenance
  • Town of Somers - $35,000; Tree Inventory and Management Plan

NEW YORK CITY

Kings County

  • Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Inc. - $63,000; Tree Maintenance
  • The Brooklyn Queens Land Trust - $30,940; Tree Maintenance
  • The Green-Wood Cemetery - $75,000; Tree Planting

New York County

  • Randall's Island Park Alliance, Inc. - $40,000; Tree Inventory and Management Plan
  • The Governors Island Corporation - $45,000; Tree Inventory and Management Plan

NORTH COUNTRY

St. Lawrence County

  • Village of Canton - $32,000; Tree Maintenance

SOUTHERN TIER

Chenango County

  • Village of Oxford - $50,000; Tree Planting

WESTERN NEW YORK

Chautauqua County

  • City of Dunkirk - $50,000; Tree Maintenance
  • City of Jamestown - $31,500; Tree Inventory and Management Plan

Erie County

  • Town of Amherst - $75,000; Tree Inventory Phase II and Management Plan
  • Town of Lancaster - $46,000; Tree Inventory and Management Plan
  • Town of Orchard Park - $33,038; Tree Inventory and Management Plan
  • Town of Tonawanda - $74,719; Tree Planting
  • Village of Lancaster - $16,032; Tree Maintenance

Niagara County

  • City of Lockport - $50,000; Tree Maintenance

Thirty-eight projects were awarded from the same grant round in December 2020.

New York State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) was created in 1993. The EPF has grown from its original appropriation of $31 million in fiscal year 1994-1995 to $300 million in the Fiscal Year 2022 Enacted Budget - the highest level of funding in the program's history. Appropriations include $40 million for solid waste programs, $90 million for parks and recreation, $151 million for open space programs, and $19 million for the climate change mitigation and adaptation program. The EPF provides funding for critical environmental programs such as land acquisition, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, enhanced recreational access, water quality improvement, and an aggressive environmental justice agenda.

For more information about DEC's Urban and Community Forestry Program, visit DEC's website.

Earlier this month, DEC announced the 2021 Arbor Day Poster Contest winner. The winning entry and more information about celebrating Arbor Day can be found on DEC's website.

https://www.dec.ny.gov/press/press.html

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Basil Seggos, Commissioner

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