Ice Storm Recovery Grants Available

Summer is not usually the time to think about winter storms, but grants are available now to Oklahoma communities impacted by ice storms that devastated much of the eastern part of the state in January 2009.

The federal grants, administered by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services (OFS), are intended primarily to help communities with ongoing recovery efforts from those ice storms. Funding is available to assess hazard trees, prune damaged tres and replace trees destroyed by the storms.

The Ice Storm Recovery Grants are available to non-profit organizations, local government agencies, educational institutions and civic or neighborhood associations in the following 14 counties: Adair, Cherokee, Delaware, Haskell, Latimer, Le Flore, Mayes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Pittsburg, Sequoyah and Wagoner. Grants range in size from $5,000 to $20,000. Recipients are required to provide a local match in cash, donations or in-kind contributions and services.

Contact Oklahoma Forestry Services, located at 2800 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105, or call  (4... to obtain a grant application. The application may be downloaded at http://www.forestry.ok.gov/ucf-grant-program.

Applications for Ice Storm Recovery Grants must be submitted to OFS by 5 p.m., October 16, 2009. Successful grant recipients should be notified before November 1 and will have one year to complete their projects.

"Many health problems could continue showing up on trees that were damaged by these ice storms,” said Mark Bays, OFS Urban Forestry Coordinator. “It is important to continue monitoring the trees in our cities and towns and address maintenance needs before they get too critical. It is quite possible some damaged trees may have become hazardous.”