DEC ANNOUNCES $350,000 HUDSON RIVER IN ESTUARY GRANTS

Estuary Scenic Hudson Long Dock Park
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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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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2018 Urban Forestry Awards Celebration Warms Hearts in March

Tree Campus Jamestown CC brighter
Eight years ago, Council Board Member Lori Brockelbank (second from left) helped Jamestown Community College become the first community college in NYS to be a Tree Campus USA. And once again, Lori brought students with her to celebrate the College’s ongoing Tree Campus USA status: Avery Sirwatka (standing next to Lori), Calob Franklin, Layla Crabtree, and Tiffany Donaldson. They are joined by NYSDEC Urban Forestry Program Manager Mary Kramarchyk (far left) and NYSDEC Urban Forestry Partnerships Coordinator Sally Kellogg (second from right).

Congratulations to New York’s Tree City/Line/Campuses! On March 29, NYSDEC celebrated the commitment of 128 NYS Tree Cities, 8 Tree Lines, and 28 Tree Campuses for their commitment to our collective urban and community forest. To learn more about becoming a Tree City USA, Tree Line USA, or Tree Campus USA, see the Arbor Day Foundation website

Thank you to NYSDEC Urban Forestry Partnerships Coordinator Sally Kellogg for her help with this pictorial of highlights from the 2018 event. 

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DEC Announces 2018 Annual Tree & Shrub Seedling Sale at Saratoga Tree Nursery

spruceseedlingredoaksdlings

Plantings Support Pollinators and Improve Habitats for Wildlife

More than 50 species of trees and shrubs from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Saratoga Tree Nursery are now available to public and private landowners and schools, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced last month.

“Planting trees and shrubs not only enhances properties, it also provides positive environmental benefits that can be accomplished with minimal time and money and requires only basic skills,” Commissioner Seggos said. “New seedlings improve wildlife habitat and air and water quality in people’s backyards. And DEC foresters are always available to give you the best advice on what to plant.”

Spruces, pines, shrub willows, dogwoods, high bush cranberry, winged sumac, white cedar, and wetland rose are among the 50 species available from the State’s Saratoga Tree Nursery. The sale provides low-cost, native tree and shrub seedlings from New York seed sources to encourage landowners to enhance the state’s environment for future generations. Mixed species packets are also available. Enhancing habitat in your backyard is made easy with packets of trees and shrubs for your specific planting goals including enhancement of ruffed grouse habitat, Long Island habitat, and riparian and streamside habitat. In addition, packets include flowering species that attract pollinators. 

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Getting to Know the DEC Urban Forestry Program’s Mary Martin

 

Mary ADKS
Mary Martin in the Adirondacks

As the volunteer coordinator for the NYSDEC Urban Forestry Program, I do a lot. My job duties vary throughout the year, ranging from planning ReLeaf workshops to creating theme and lesson plans for the 5th Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest. Reviewing Tree City USA applications is one of my favorite parts of my job; it’s so much fun to see how different communities across the state get creative with how they celebrate Arbor Day.

Many of my favorite memories from growing up include being outdoors with my friends and family. Those memories, coupled with my fascination for rocks, led to me study Environmental Science at SUNY Albany. I was positive I was in the right field, but I was at a loss for what I wanted to do after college. I spent my winter breaks of junior and senior year in Ecuador with an organization called Global Student Embassy. We worked on reforestation and local sustainability projects—experiences that helped ignite a passion for working with communities and trees. 

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Green-Wood Cemetery Employs Drone to Assist with Oak Wilt Diagnosis

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A drone’s aerial perspective on a red oak (Quercus rubra), infected with oak wilt, in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery.

NYSDEC recently launched its use of drones for things like monitoring coastal erosion on Lake Ontario, exploration of bat caves in Mineville, restoration of beach dunes on Fire Island, and monitoring Southern pine beetle in pine stands on Long Island. There are few known instances of drone use in the urban forests of New York; it’s thought that this is because people are worried about safety and are uncertain about the potentially prohibitive laws at work in populous areas.

However, the Council’s own Joseph Charap has begun using drones in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn with the help of his colleague, Vice President of Operations, Eric Barna. (Charap is Green-Wood’s Director of Horticulture and Curator.) Their first use of Barna’s Phantom 3 drone was to get aerial imagery of a veteran red oak (Quercus rubra) tree at Green-Wood that Charap suspected might be infected with oak wilt. 

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Drones in the Urban Forest, Part 1: NYSDEC’s Drone Program Takes Off

NYSDEC is now using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, also known as drones) for a variety of monitoring purposes around the State. This terrific video, followed by the official NYSDEC press release, shows you the projects undertaken thus far. The ones that will perhaps interest the NYS urban forestry community most are related to Southern Pine Beetle and Phragmites–but all the projects are fascinating. In the next post, we explore the potential uses for urban forestry.

DEC’s Drone Program Takes Off

Fleet of 22 Drones and Professional Operators Undertake Critical Search and Rescue, Forest Fires, Wildlife Management and Forest Health Missions

DEC Drones Dispatched to Assist in Hurricane Recovery Efforts in Texas and Puerto Rico

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that the agency has deployed a fleet of 22 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or “drones,” across the state to enhance the state’s environmental management, conservation and emergency response efforts. 

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Governor Cuomo Announces $2.3 Million in Urban Forestry Grants

Funding Will Help Support Tree Planting and Other Urban Forestry Projects Statewide 

Read on to find out about the awardees and their projects  

Sept Oct 2016 Rick Harper
Scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea). Photo by Rick Harper

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced grant awards totaling $2.3 million for urban forestry projects in communities across New York. The Urban Forestry grants are funded through the state Environmental Protection Fund and are part of New York’s ongoing initiatives to address invasive species, climate change and environmental justice.

“These investments will help improve the quality of life in New York neighborhoods by supporting the replacement of trees impacted by invasive pests,” Governor Cuomo said. “Every New Yorker deserves access to clean air, and through these urban forestry grants, we are promoting the benefits of planting new trees to support a better, healthier New York for all.”

Grants were made available to municipalities, public benefit corporations, public authorities, school districts, soil and water conservation districts, community colleges, not-for-profit organizations, and Indian Nations. Awards range from $11,000 to $75,000, depending on municipal population. Tree inventories and community forestry management plans have no match. Tree planting and maintenance projects have a 25 percent match.

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Hudson Valley ReLeaf Workshop Went Back to Basics

Tree planting Millbrook Oct 12 2017
Planting a ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) in Millbrook. Photo by Karen Emmerich

On Thursday, October 12, 2017 Hudson Valley ReLeaf and NYSDEC held a workshop called “Back to Basics” hosted at CCE Dutchess County in Millbrook. Sessions were given on tree biology, tree planting specifications, young tree pruning, and insects and diseases impacting forest health. Four esteemed professionals led the sessions: NYSDEC’s Jason Denham, CCE Nassau County’s Vinnie Drzewucki, the New York Tree Trust’s James Kaechele, and NYSDEC Region 3 Senior Forester George Profous. The day culminated in the planting of a ginkgo tree in downtown Millbrook as part of a tree planting demo conducted by Profous. All this for $25! Keep an eye out for ReLeaf workshops in your area.

Hudson Valley ReLeaf is part of a statewide program managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Private Land Services. Funding is provided by the Urban and Community Forestry Program. Volunteer members of Hudson Valley ReLeaf include interested citizens, forestry professionals, representatives of environmental non-profits, and government officials.

Call for Photography Submissions for 2018 NYS Arbor Day Poster

Arbor Day Poster

Above: 2017 Arbor Day Poster, Photo by Brad Wenskoski

Each year the public is invited to submit photography and/or artwork to be considered for the NYS Arbor Day Poster. It is a long time tradition and posters have become collectors’ items for many. NYSDEC will print 100,000 posters for distribution to the 3,500 NYS schools, the NYS Fair, and other venues. The winning artist will be honored at the annual state Arbor Day celebration.

Artwork and photography is now being accepted for the 2018 NYS Arbor Day Poster Contest. To submit your photography and/or artwork please complete artist information form and send it with your artwork attached to arborday@dec.ny.gov.

Submissions must be received by December 31st, 2017. Only photographs taken in New York State will be accepted. If your photograph features any distinguishable persons, a model consent form (PDF, 113 KB) must be included with your submission. Please submit images with a resolution of 300 dpi or higher.

Each year the public is invited to submit photography and/or artwork to be considered for the State Arbor Day Poster. It is a long time tradition and posters have become collectors’ items for many. We will print 100,000 posters for distribution to the 3,500 NYS schools, the NYS Fair and other venues. The winning artist will be honored at the annual state Arbor Day celebration.

Artwork and photography is now being accepted for the 2018 NYS Arbor Day Poster Contest. To submit your photography and/or artwork please complete artist information form (PDF, 46 KB), and send it with your artwork attached to arborday@dec.ny.gov.

Submissions must be received by December 31st, 2017. Only photographs taken in New York State will be accepted. If your photograph features any distinguishable persons, a model consent form must be included with your submission. Please submit images with a resolution of 300 dpi or higher.