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Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Arbor Day by Awarding 2018 Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grants

For immediate release:
4/27/2018
  • Department of Conservation & Recreation

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Arbor Day by Awarding 2018 Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grants

Troy Wall, Press Secretary

BOSTONThe Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $90,827 in 2018 Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grants to eight municipalities in celebration of Arbor Day. The grants will assist the Cities of Framingham, Newburyport, and Somerville, and the Towns of Harvard, Longmeadow, Milford, Montague, and Sandwich, as local officials seek to maximize the social, economic, and environmental benefits of increased tree canopies within their communities.

“More trees across the Commonwealth will improve the air we breathe, reducing energy consumption, and beautifying our neighborhoods,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This year’s Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grants will enable these eight communities to fortify and strengthen their respective tree canopies.”

“Arbor Day is an annual opportunity to focus our attention on trees and the benefits that they provide,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The 2018 Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grants will assist the communities of Framingham, Harvard, Longmeadow, Milford, Montague, Newburyport, Sandwich, and Somerville in making substantial strides in the management of local tree inventories.”

The 2018 Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grants, which range from $3,000 to $20,000, will assist in the following key areas: 

  • Building and strengthening citizen advocacy;
  • Developing and adopting tree and forest ordinances and policies;
  • Securing or training professional staff;
  • Developing and implementing an urban forestry management plan;
  • Attaining a Tree City USA Award;
  • Completing strategic community tree plantings and “Heritage Tree” care projects; and
  • Other projects that are well-conceived and will result in sustained improvements to urban and community forestry management in other areas.

Additionally, the funds for the 50-50 matching grant program are provided by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Service and the Massachusetts ReLeaf Trust Fund, and are administered by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). One of the eight grant awards was funded from the Mass ReLeaf Trust Fund utilizing donations from the National Grid Corporation. National Grid contributes to DCR to offer Urban Forestry Challenge Grants in pre-determined amounts to communities affected by the company’s hazard tree removal program, which identifies and targets trees near main power feeder lines.​

“The Baker-Polito Administration continues to make investments in our state’s tree infrastructure, such as by providing and administering vital funds through programs like the Urban and Community Forestry Grants Program, conserving and protecting environmentally important land throughout the Commonwealth, or promoting the Greening the Gateway Cities Program,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy. “The DCR staff work incredibly hard in not only assisting our many environmental partners, but also managing the millions of trees located within the state parks system, and it is my hope that we all take a few moments and recognize the importance of trees this Arbor Day.”

The following proposals were awarded 2018 Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grants:

Applicant: City of Framingham, Community & Economic Development Division

Brief Description: South Framingham Urban Forest Inventory & Management Plan

Amount Awarded: $16,000 (USDA Forest Service)

Applicant: Town of Harvard

Brief Description: Tree Planting within the town

Amount Awarded: $5,000 (funded by the Mass ReLeaf Trust Fund through a donation from National Grid)

Applicant: Town of Longmeadow

Brief Description: Longmeadow Urban Forest Enhancement

Amount Awarded: $10,950 (USDA Forest Service)

Applicant: Town of Milford

Brief Description: Tree planting

Amount Awarded: $3,000 (funded by the Mass ReLeaf Trust Fund)

Applicant: Montague Tree Advisory Committee

Brief Description: Strategic Tree Planting in Millers Falls

Amount Awarded: $6,777 (USDA Forest Service)

Applicant: Newburyport Tree Commission

Brief Description: Newburyport Tree Inventory Project

Amount Awarded: $13,000 (USDA Forest Service)

Applicant: Town of Sandwich

Brief Description: Glass Town District Tree Inventory and Management Plan

Amount Awarded: $16,100 (USDA Forest Service)

Applicant: City of Somerville

Brief Description: New Urban Forestry Management Plan

Amount Awarded: $20,000 (USDA Forest Service)

Currently, the Department of Conservation and Recreation is accepting project grant proposals for calendar year 2019. Please visit the agency’s Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grants webpage for additional details.

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Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Arbor Day by Awarding 2018 Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grants

Department of Conservation & Recreation 

DCR manages state parks and oversees more than 450,000 acres throughout Massachusetts. It protects, promotes, and enhances the state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources.

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