2021 Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program
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The purpose of Florida's Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) Grant Program is to provide financial assistance to local governments, Native American tribal governments, volunteer groups, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions to initiate or enhance local urban and community forestry programs and improve the urban environment within the state of Florida. The State of Florida anticipates an allocation of $265,000 for fiscal year 2021.
The primary purpose of this UCF grant program is to promote better urban forest management and to provide resources necessary for the retention and expansion of community tree canopy throughout the State of Florida. Trees are a vital component of urban infrastructure, but trees must be properly managed to maximize the benefits they provide to the community. By properly managing their tree infrastructure, communities can increase property values, tourism appeal, and the physical and mental health of residents, while reducing storm water runoff, energy consumption, and air and water pollution. Community forest management also helps to identify public safety hazards to residents and structures and is a useful tool in storm preparation. Local community leaders and the public should learn more about how their urban trees benefit their community, from an economic, social, and environment standpoint. They also should learn about proper species selection, planting and care for trees to minimize future maintenance problems and how to utilize green infrastructure to reduce storm water runoff.
No more than 60% of the funding will be allocated to tree planting practices. The maximum grant allocation is $20,000 for each category and each applicant. Practices may be implemented on county or municipally-owned lands, including parks or natural areas, as well as highway and street rights-of-way not maintained by the Federal government. Funds will be allocated to regions with priority given to fiscally distressed communities.
FDACS, Florida Forest Service (FFS) is requesting proposals for grants to:
• Plant trees in areas where they would provide tangible benefits to Floridians through energy reduction, water or air quality improvement, storm water runoff avoidance, or increased greenspace accessibility.
• Establish a food forest or urban orchard.
• Conduct a tree inventory of public areas and assess the condition of individual trees.
• Conduct an urban tree canopy assessment to gather information about how much tree canopy is in the area and how it is distributed across the landscape.
• Develop an urban forest management plan.
• Implement informational and educational programs to improve the understanding of residents and local officials of the benefits of maintaining a healthy tree canopy.
• Develop a workforce development program to educate students and residents about career opportunities in the green industry and provide them with hands on experience to give them the necessary skills.