Town of Kent Launches Community Forestry Program with Aid of Council Grant

Town of Kent folks savor planting a white oak on park land around Lake Carmel. Photo by Bill Huestis

The town of Kent, NY (pop. ~ 13,500) is located in Putnam County. In 2018, the freak EF2 (110 mph at peak) tornado of May 15 plowed through a portion of Kent, uprooting or toppling 40 trees around Lake Carmel. The Town applied for and received a Council grant to plant red maples and white oaks in some key locations around the Lake. The initially scheduled spring planting activities had to be postponed due to unseasonal weather. Town of Kent Councilman Bill Huestis says, “The great news is that we finalized our initial tree planting in late June around Lake Carmel, and as of this writing all of the trees are doing fine.”

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Amboy Launches Community Forestry with Arbor Day Planting

Amboy tree planting volunteers take a selfie with the new community trees in the background. Photos Courtesy Town of Amboy

The Amboy Town Tree Committee sent this lovely narrative from their Arbor Day tree planting dedication on April 27, 2019, supported by a Council Arbor Day grant. Amboy (pop. ~1265) is located in the southeast part of Oswego County.

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” —Franklin Delano Roosevelt

On this Arbor Day 2019, thanks to a generous grant from the NYS Urban Forestry Council, we in the Town of Amboy are building on that tradition by adding a new grove of trees in our town park—trees that will flower and fruit and even add a bit of shade to this popular community gathering spot.

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Village of Cassadaga & Lily Dale Assembly’s First Arbor Day Celebration

Cassadaga and Lily Dale residents planting a ‘Red Sunset’ red maple (Acer rubrum) at Cassadaga ball fields. Cassadaga and Lily Dale are located about an hour southwest of Buffalo.

An Arbor Day grant of $1000 and instruction from Council Board Member Lori Brockelbank helped the Village of Cassadaga (pop. ~610) and Assembly of Lily Dale (pop. ~275) celebrate their first Arbor Day on Saturday May 18, 2019.

The family-friendly event started at the Cassadaga Library with crafts for kids, free saplings, refreshments, and Lori’s presentation. Among other things, she covered the benefits of trees; Right Plant, Right Place; tree planting and aftercare; and dealing with deer, beaver, and salt. She also talked about job opportunities in the urban forestry field, which piqued the interest of Cassadaga Job Corps youth. The group then headed out to plant trees.

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Governor Cuomo Announces $2.8 Million in Grant Awards to Combat Spread Of Invasive Species

A thicket of Japanese knotweed. Citation: Tom Heutte, USDA Forest Service, www.invasives.org

Funding Supports Invasive Species Rapid Response and Control, Research, Lake Management Planning, and Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Programs.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced more than $2.8 million in grants have been awarded to 42 projects that will reduce the negative impacts of invasive species through control or removal activities, research, and spread prevention. These grants are part of the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Invasive Species Grant Program and are funded by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund.

Across the state, DEC is using science to determine what actions will have the greatest impact in controlling invasive species. Awarded projects are spread across four categories:

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How Village of Massena Used its EPF Grant Dollars

Veterans Memorial Park in Massena

The Village of Massena (pop. ~10,500) is located in Saint Lawrence County, just south of the Saint Lawrence River. Massena Utility CEO Andy McMahon coordinated the Village of Massena’s effort to secure an EPF grant to fund a tree inventory and tree management plan, both conducted by ArborPro.   

What was the scope and nature of the work you were applying for? 
Andy McMahon: The Village of Massena and Massena Electric collectively applied for a UCF grant. The UCF grant was to provide a tree inventory of the community and part of the town as well as a strategic plan for all areas surveyed. In the case of both the Village and electric utility, we are small and well-intentioned but not necessarily well versed in trees and tree care. This grant allowed for an arborist to come in and do an assessment of the types of trees we have in our public spaces and ROWs. The arborist gave us this inventory snapshot of our tree population as well as a strategic plan for what to do next.

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Akwesasne Uses EPF Grant to Create Stellar Community Forest Management Plan

The beautiful, 109-page Akwesasne Community Forest Management Plan was written and designed by Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Forestry Conservation Technician Aaron Barrigar.

Through EPF grants, the community of Akwesasne and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Forestry Resources Department performed a tree inventory and created the 2018 Akwesasne Community Forest Management Plan. The Plan presents the tree inventory data and an i-Tree Eco analysis of that data, and it provides direction for the stewards of the community forest in the southern portion of Akwesasne, where the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe lives. Southern Akwesasne covers approximately 10,000 acres, with about 3,000 acres in the urban interface.

Les Benedict is Assistant Director of the Environment Division of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and is the point person for the grants with NYSDEC. He spoke with us about aspects of the grant application and implementation processes and offers some suggestions for future applicants.

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How Kingston Used its EPF Grant Dollars–and Advice from the Grant Writers

This Q&A is with Kingston Assistant Planner Kyla DeDea, one of the grant writers for Kingston’s successful EPF Round 13 grant application.

What was the work Kingston needed grant money for?

Kyla DeDea: The City of Kingston applied to hire a professional tree service to conduct a street tree and parkland inventory. The inventory included trees within the street rights-of-way and improved areas of Kingston’s Parks. The inventory also included identification of existing stumps to be removed and identified planting sites for future tree installations. We felt that adding these additional items to the inventory was important to assist in making informed decisions on where to plant new trees.

After being awarded and receiving quotes for the inventories, we were able to utilize the remaining funds to complete a Tree Management Plan. Both the inventories (July 2018) and the management plan (Sept 2018) were done by ArborPro. This was a great benefit to be able to complete both plans under the same grant. It put the City of Kingston in the position to be able to apply for funds to do much needed tree maintenance.

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Prospect Park’s EPF Grant Yields Superb Tree Management Plan

Image by Elizabeth Jeegin Colley for the Prospect Park Alliance

Round 15 of the Environmental Protection Fund grants for urban forestry related activities will open later in 2019. Here on the blog, we continue to showcase work that emerged from successful grants and give advice to future applicants from the folks behind those successful grants.

Prospect Park contains Brooklyn’s largest indigenous forest and sustains more than 10 million visits a year. Its 536 acres include woodland, lawn, wetlands, lake, meadow, zoo, ice rink, athletic fields, and more. It’s managed by the Prospect Park Alliance in collaboration with NYC Parks. Prospect Park Alliance Director of Landscape Management John Jordan had several key roles to play in the preparation of the Alliance’s grant application for Environmental Protect Fund monies, grants that are managed and allocated by NYSDEC.

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Thirty-Three Urban Forest Inventories/Mgmt Plans to Inform Your UFMP

The Council now has 33 professional Urban Forest Inventories/Mgmt Plans from around New York State collected for your perusal. Most of the inventories/plans were funded by grants from the Environmental Protection Fund (aka cost-share grants), with applications evaluated by NYSDEC staff. This compendium of Plans could be a very helpful resource under any circumstances but especially as you think about your community’s grant application for EPF grants Round 15 later this year.

According to grants administrator and DEC Environmental Program Specialist Michelle Higgins, under Round 14, there were 29 municipalities or not-for-profit (NFP) groups who received funding for Tree Inventory/Community Forestry Management Plans, 8 munis or NFPs who received Tree Maintenance grants, 13 munis or NFPS who received grants for Tree Planting, and 2 Cornell Cooperative Extension agencies (Dutchess and Nassau Counties) who received grants for Education Programming.

Urban Forest Inventories, Management Plans, and Reports:

Akwesasne Community Forest
Batavia
Binghamton
Canandaigua 
DeWitt
Fulton
Ithaca
Kingston
Long Beach
Mamaroneck
Massena
Middletown
Friends of Mt Hope Cemetery
Mount Kisco
NYC by Neighborhood
Newburgh
Nyack
Ogdensburg, Part I
Ogdensburg, Part II
Ossining
Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Red Hook, Town
Red Hook, Village
Rochester
Rye’s Crawford Park
Saratoga Springs
Schenectady
Scottsville
Syracuse
Warwick
Washington DC (performed by Cornell UHI Team)
Watertown
Watervliet