USDA Announces Urban and Community Forestry Grants
U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Mike Johanns has announced more than $589,000 in federal cost-share grants to eight organizations with urban and community forestry projects nationwide. The approximately $589,000 in funds will be matched by recipient organizations that will contribute an additional $629,000.
The grant recipients will use the money to develop products, such as an assessment of the effectiveness of green infrastructure plans in residential subdivisions, linking urban forests and tourism, research findings, and other educational modules.
Recipients of the 2007 cost-share grants were selected in a competitive process, based on criteria developed by the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC). NUCFAC reviewed the proposals and made its recommendations to the U.S. Forest Service, which awards the grants.
The eight recipients are: Openlands Project (Chicago, IL); The Student Conservation Association (Arlington, VA); Utah State University (Logan, UT); West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV); Auburn University (Auburn, AL); American Forests (Washington, DC); Louisiana Public Broadcasting (Baton Rouge, LA); and the Alliance for Community Trees (Beltsville, MD).
Previous NUFAC grants resulted in developing community forest plans, methods for identifying the costs and benefits of trees in communities, ways to conserve energy, techniques for communities to care for their forests, and educational programs to promote the importance of urban and community forestry.
NUCFAC was established in the 1990 Farm Bill. Since then, the Forest Service has funded 169 competitive cost-share projects recommended by NUCFAC. The 15-member council advises the Secretary on the care and management of trees, forests, and related natural resources in urban and community settings. NUCFAC members include representatives from communities, universities, non-profit forestry and conservation citizen organizations, landscape and design consultants, the forest product or nursery industry, professional renewable natural resource organizations, and the USDA. Members of NUCFAC dedicate approximately 100 volunteer hours each year.