AUGUSTA, ME – January 13, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Maine’s Project Canopy will award $100,000 in grants this spring to local 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 the Pine Tree State Arboretum, 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.
“These grants help to enhance the beauty of our communities and foster a strong sense of conservation that makes Maine the special place that it is,” Jan Santerre, Project Canopy coordinator, said.
The Maine Forest Service anticipates that $100,000 will be available from the USDA Forest Service to support community forestry projects in 2009. Project Canopy has three grant categories for applicants to choose from:
- planning and education grants;
- tree planting and maintenance grants;
- and inner city improvement grants.
In 2008, Maine’s Project Canopy Assistance program funded 42 grants to communities and organizations, including 24 to communities that did not participate previously. Of the 42 projects, 11 used the funding to develop Maine Forest Service Woods WISE plans for town forest resources. The remaining 31 grants were used to fund a variety of projects, including downtown district tree planting enhancements; vacant lot enhancement; and community tree inventory and management plans.
Three notable 2008 projects include:
- Castine’s efforts to inventory its American elm trees in order to establish a long-term plan for tree care and maintenance. The town also is working to rewrite a new, more comprehensive tree ordinance.
- Lewiston’s planting of 38 trees and establishment of three rain gardens within the Hart Brook watershed to reduce pollution and improve the water source. The work includes participation by volunteers, and education and outreach to property owners and school children to teach about watershed health.
- Bath’s development of a management plan for two city-owned, wooded areas, totaling 165 acres, with the goal to have the areas provide material to be utilized in community projects. Materials harvested during the project included white pine, which was used along with damaged granite curbing by a local artisan to create cost-effective, durable seating for the city’s green spaces.
Project Canopy grants are competitive and require a 50-percent match from the grant recipient in cash or in-kind services.
To be eligible to apply for 2009 Project Canopy Assistance grants, all applicants must attend a grant workshop prior to submitting an application. Grant workshops are scheduled for the first and second weeks of February. They will be held in various locations throughout the state and will cover topics including grant writing, project development, sustainable community forestry management, and grant administration.
Applications must be submitted to the Maine Forest Service by 5 p.m., April 10. 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.