Urban Grants Available from Oklahoma Forestry Services

Urban and Community Forestry Grants are available to Oklahoma communities to improve their understanding of the benefits of urban trees, increase the amount of canopy cover, and provide educational and technical guidance to plan, maintain, and improve urban and community forests.

These competitive federal grants, administered by Oklahoma Forestry Services (OFS), a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry are available to non-profit organizations, local government agencies, educational institutions and civic or neighborhood associations. Grants from $1,000 to $10,000 will be awarded. Recipients are requiredto provide matching funds in cash, donations or in-kind contributions and services.

“Trees help improve everything from personal health and quality of living issues, to boosting economic growth opportunities for private homes and local business and business districts. They help solve tough environmental problems commonly found in communities. The bottom line is healthy trees translate into healthy communities," said Mark Bays, OFS Urban Forestry Coordinator.

This is the 22nd year these grants have been available. Communities that have participated in the urban forestry grants program include Oklahoma City, Tulsa, McAlester, Enid, and Morrison to name a few.

"It's vital that rural communities and metropolitan areas take a progressive approach to caring for their trees. A simple tree inventory can help communities evaluate the condition and needs of their forests. If we don't plan for the future, we stand to lose these valuable assets in our home towns," Bays said.

The application deadline is August 3, 2012. Successful grant recipients will be notified before August 31 and will have one year to complete their projects.

For more information about the grant, contact Mark Bays at 405-522-6150 or to request an application, visit www.forestry.ok.gov or call (405) 522-6158.