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Project Canopy Offers Community Forestry Grants

       Maine Department of Conservation

          Bureau of Parks and Lands       Maine Forest Service

           Maine Geological Survey and Natural Areas Program

          Land Use Regulation Commission

 

August 16, 2011

Contact:  Jan Ames Santerre, (207) 287-4987

 

Project Canopy Offers Community Forestry Grants

 

AUGUSTA, Maine – Project Canopy, the Maine Forest Service’s community forestry program, will award $200,000 in grants to local governments and municipalities, educational institutions and non-profit organizations that support community efforts to develop and maintain long-term community forestry programs.

Project Canopy, a cooperative partnership between the Maine Forest Service, under the Maine Department of Conservation, and GrowSmart Maine in Portland, encourages communities to develop project proposals that support sustainable community forestry management, increase awareness of the benefits of trees and forests, and increase the health and livability of communities through sound tree planting and maintenance, Jan Ames Santerre, Project Canopy director, said.

Funded by the U.S. Forest Service, the Project Canopy grants are available in two categories: planning and education grants and tree planting and maintenance grants. About $90,000 in grant funds also is available specifically for projects in the Presumpscot watershed, Santerre said.

“These grants not only support significant community forestry projects, but they also support and create jobs throughout the state in the green industry, including nurseries, landscapers, foresters and loggers,” Santerre said. The total economic impact of the horticulture industry in Maine is $286 million annually, and the industry supports 7,826 jobs.

Since 2003, Project Canopy has awarded more than $1.2 million in funding for community forestry projects. The average grants range from $6,000 to $8,000 and require a 50-percent cost-share with cash or in-kind services, the program director said.

Two recent grants of note include a 2007 grant of $2,574 to the city of Portland for an inventory and management plan for four forested areas in the city. Another 2007 grant to the town of Dover-Foxcroft for $4,000 was used for a street tree inventory, followed by a 2009 grant of $7,940 for a planting project, Santerre said.

“These days, cities and towns have big budget challenges and often no extra money for things like tree planting,” she said. “Having these grants available allows them to make investments in their communities.

“Trees are something that people take for granted, yet they really appreciate mature trees on their streets,” Santerre continued. “It’s not until they lose them that they realize their value.”

The planning and education grants have a maximum award of $10,000, while the planting and maintenance grants have a maximum award of $8,000. To be eligible to apply for a 2011 assistance grant, all applicants must attend a grant workshop before submitting an application. Grant workshops will be scheduled in September at various locations around the state. The workshops will cover such topics as grant writing, project development, sustainable community forestry management and grant administration.

Grant applications are due at the Maine Forest Service by 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 17.

The Presumpscot Watershed Project grants require the same workshop and application process, Santerre said. Organizations interested in learning more should contact Project Canopy specifically about those grants.

“The Presumpscot Watershed Project grants are the same projects only slightly different in that they focus on the value of trees and forests in providing clean water for the Presumpscot River and Sebago Lake,” Santerre said.

To learn more about the Project Canopy Assistance program and to sign up for a grant workshop in your area, contact Project Canopy at (207) 287-4987.

More information is available on the web at http://projectcanopy.maine.gov.

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