Urban Grants Available from Oklahoma Forestry Services

Urban and Community Forestry Grants of $1,000-10,000 will be available to Oklahoma communities again this year.

The federal grants, which are administered by the Oklahoma Forestry Services, are intended primarily to help communities and non-profits develop local forestry plans, broaden urban forestry programs and provide training opportunities.

Contact the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry at 2800 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105, or call (405) 522-6158 to obtain a grant application. A grant application form can also be downloaded from the Forestry Services web site at http://www.forestry.ok.gov/ucf-grant-program.

A workshop designed to assist interested groups in filling out the application will be held on May 21, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. at the Will Rogers Garden Exhibition Building, 3400 N.W. 36thin OKC. Please RSVP by May 19 to Mark Bays at mark.bays@oda.state.ok.us or calling 405-522-6158.

Applications for Urban and Community Forestry Grants must be submitted by 5 p.m. July 23, 2010 to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry in Oklahoma City.

The Urban and Community Forestry Grants are available to non-profit organizations, local government agencies, educational institutions and civic or neighborhood associations. Recipients are required to provide matching funds in cash, donations or in-kind contributions and services.

Communities that have participated in the urban forestry grants program have a better understanding of the value of benefits trees provide. The program also has enhanced the technical skills of individuals who plan, develop and maintain urban and community forests. A simple tree inventory can help communities recognize immediate concerns about their trees, he said.

"It's vital that rural communities and metropolitan areas take a progressive approach to caring for their trees,” Bays said. “If we don't plan for the future, we may continue to lose these valuable assets in our home towns."

Successful grant recipients should be notified by August 31 and will have one year to complete their projects.