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Winning 2018 Fifth Grade NY Arbor Day Poster Contest Artist

Sydney Starkey
Congratulations to 5th grader Sydney Starkey from Pocantico Hills School in Sleepy Hollow, who won the 5th Grade 2018 NY Arbor Day poster contest! This year’s theme was “Trees for Bees.” She is seen here with her parents, Catherine and David, at the DEC Urban Forestry Awards ceremony in Albany in March.

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DEC ANNOUNCES $350,000 HUDSON RIVER IN ESTUARY GRANTS

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Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park Estuary. Photo by Robert Rodriguez, Jr. for scenichudson.org

Healthy urban forests protect the health of watersheds by slowing down stormwater runoff and sediment transport. Note that one category of the projects funding by these Hudson River Estuary grants is: 

  • Using green infrastructure practices as a means to reduce combined sewer overflows.

 Grants Will Improve Water Quality and Protect Natural Resources

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that $350,000 in competitive grant funding is available to help communities in the Hudson River Estuary watershed increase resiliency to flooding, protect water quality, fish, and wildlife habitat, and enhance natural resources. The grants are provided through New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and are administered by DEC’s Hudson River Estuary program. 

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Chestnut Tree Restoration: Help by Planting Nuts for “Mother Trees”

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Open-grown (full sun) American chestnut trees can flower in just three years. Photo by Allen Nichols

“We need people all over NY and in other states to plant pure wild American chestnuts so they have ‘mother trees’ to cross with our blight-resistant tree, when it is approved for release, hopefully in the next few years,” says Allen Nichols, president of the NY Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF). This is a continuation of 28-plus years that TACF-NY has been supporting the chestnut restoration work at SUNY ESF.

“I have American chestnut nuts that are starting to sprout,” he says. I send these nuts out free of charge to people that are interested in starting some mother trees, so they have a tree to cross with our blight resistant tree, when it is available.”

Nichols asks that folks read this post and the previous post about chestnut restoration, this document about mother trees and this one about planting your chestnut seeds, and then let him know how many nuts you want to plant! fajknichols.75@gmail.com or call 607-263-5105

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Town of Plattsburgh Arbor Day 2018

 

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Thank you to Town of Plattsburgh Planning Technician Malana Tamer for providing this report.

The Town of Plattsburgh (population app 12,000) is located in Clinton County in the northeastern part of New York State, approximately 65 miles south of Montreal, Canada and on the western shore of Lake Champlain. The Town of Plattsburgh surrounds the separate and more populous City of Plattsburgh.

With the help of a $400 Arbor Day grant through NYSUFC, the Town of Plattsburgh purchased two river birch trees, which were planted at the Cadyville Town Beach on Arbor Day, April 27, 2018. The Town beach provides public access to the Saranac River with a lifeguard patrolled beach and non-motorized boat access. In summer months, the beach provides river access to approximately 1,098 users per month. The two new trees will provide erosion control and shade for beach users. 

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Reflections from Newly Retired Albany City Forester Tom Pfeiffer

Tom Pfeiffer iiiI grew up in Albany. When I was a kid, Mom would point out different kinds of trees to me (she had grown up on a farm). My interest grew, always with sensory attraction: the smell of maples in the spring, the sound of wind in pine branches, the color of fall leaves, all the forms and shapes.

Growing up in a reasonably dense city gave me a different perspective on trees when I went to Forestry school at Paul Smiths College. After graduating and taking internship positions with the US Forest Service, I returned to Albany. A volunteer project with the City led me to the then-new position of Assistant Forester, where my re-education in urban forestry began.

Our department found every urban tree issue there is: plumbing, overhead wires, bad practices, poor soils, vandalism, sidewalks, structures. And we made many of the mistakes, but learned and adjusted. One of my first—and ongoing—efforts was to increase tree species diversity; tree planting along streets, in parks, and on school grounds gave me my highest satisfaction in the position. 

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Round 14 UCF Grant Application Period Now Open!

yellowwood flowers Michelle Sutton
Yellowwood / Michelle Sutton

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is pleased to announce available Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) funding for qualifying governmental entities or non-for-profit  organizations.

Grant projects must implement successful tree inventory, community forest management planning, tree planting, tree maintenance, or educational programming projects in New York State. Full guidelines and application instructions can be found at the Grants Gateway portal here, then search on “Round 14.” 

DEC is committed to implementing a successful Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) Program and dedicated to providing support and assistance to communities in the development and implementation of comprehensive tree planting, management, maintenance, and education to create healthy urban and community forests while enhancing the quality of life for urban residents.

This is a reimbursement grant program for communities based on partnerships between volunteers, nonprofits, urban forestry professionals, and others.

Awards range from $11,000 to $75,000, depending on municipal population. Municipalities with populations of 65,000 or greater are eligible for grants up to $75,000. Towns with populations less than 65,000 are able to apply for up to $50,000. For inventory and management plan grants, no match is required. For planting, maintenance, and education grants, there is a required 25% match.

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Announces $2.2 Million in UCF Grants

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Also in this update from the Governor’s office:

DEC Honored with 10-Year Achievement in Sustainable Forest Management Status for Forest Certification

Student and State Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners Announced

Highlighting Albany’s 16th Year as a Tree City USA

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced $2.2 million in grants for tree planting and community forestry projects across New York. In honor of National Arbor Day, Governor Cuomo proclaimed Arbor Day in New York State along with the joint grant announcement from the State Departments of Environmental Conservation, Agriculture and Markets, and the Office of General Services. The 2018 New York State Arbor Day Proclamation can be viewed here.

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Federal Urban Forestry Policy & Funding Update

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Testimony Submitted for FY 19 Budget
The SUFC Policy Working Group recently submitted testimony to the House and Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittees urging support and funding for U.S. Forest Service, EPA, and National Park Service programs related to urban forests. The Working Group also submitted testimony to the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee to maintain the Fiscal Year 2018 funding levels for four line items under the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Health program.

Thank Congress for Increased Funding to U&CF
The FY 18 budget had good news for urban forestry. Funding for the U&CF and other forestry programs was increased in some instances, and otherwise kept level. It’s not too late to head to social media to share your appreciation, especially to members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, with the FY 19 process already underway. [The House members from New York who served on that committee are José SerranoNita Lowey, and Grace Meng.]

The SUFC is an assembly of national organizations working to advance a unified urban forest agenda for our nation’s communities.

The SUFC is composed of city planners, educators, landscape architects, non-profit leaders, scientists, arborists, foresters, nurserymen and women, and many other professionals who care for, monitor and advocate for trees and our urban forests as a whole.