The Red Hook Way, Part II: Cost-Share Grant Success

In 2011, the Town of Red Hook Tree Commission successfully applied for a Round 10 NYS DEC Urban and Community Forestry Cost-Share grant that they used for a tree inventory and tree planting.

Victoria Rolfe and Nancy Gurski working on the Town of Red Hook's tree inventory. Photo courtesy Red Hook Tree Commission
Victoria Rolfe (standing) and Nancy Guski working on the Town of Red Hook’s tree inventory. Photos courtesy Red Hook Tree Commission

The example provided by the excellent Red Hook Grant NARRATIVE will be of interest to your community as you prepare your cost-share grant applications for Round 13 later this year (stay tuned to NYSDEC’s web page about the grants for the timetable).

After the grant monies were put to use in 2011-2013, Red Hook Tree Commission Chair Nancy Guski prepared a final report that follows. Along with the grant narrative linked above, this report is recommended reading for any community thinking about applying for cost-share grants later in 2015.

Final Report for the Town of Red Hook Inventory and Tree Planting Project

SWAT team members conducting tree inventory in Red Hook
SWAT team members conducting tree inventory 

The two-year grant took place from the fall of 2011 through the spring of 2013. During that period we planted 42 trees, inventoried 677 trees, and identified 225 new planting sites. Site preparation and tree planting was done by volunteers, tree and landscape professionals, and municipal employees. The inventory was done in two parts. The Street Tree Inventory was conducted by the Hudson Valley Specialized Weekday Arborist Team (SWAT). The Red Hook Recreation Park Inventory was done by Integral Tree and Landscape.

We were able to accomplish our plan and even add to it and stay within our budget. We were scheduled to plant 32 trees, but actually planted 42. Some sites were changed because of increased farming on Pitcher Lane where farm vehicle traffic would cause compaction. Trees sited for the Recreation Park Extension could not be planted because the area was not ready as planned. Instead we renovated the south parking lot at the Town of Red Hook Recreation Park by removing old trees in decline and planted 17 new trees in five tree lawns.

The SWAT Street Tree Inventory came in at a cost much lower than budgeted for so we expanded our inventory to include the Red Hook Recreation Park. Since 2008 we have planted 211 trees and shrubs at the Park. The grant provided an excellent opportunity to monitor in depth the health and vigor of not only the trees we planted, but most of the older trees. It has been our goal to view the Park as not only a sports venue but a canopied respite.

The following represents the original proposal and what actually transpired:
Grant proposal amount for 32 trees $2,982.00
Amount spent for 42 trees 3,586.00
Purchased tree materials 49.93
Tree installation 200.00
Difference +753.93
Grant proposal amount for the Inventory $5,000.00
Amount spent for Inventory $3835.69
Difference -$1164.31
Total grant proposal: $7982.00
Total amount spent: $7671.62

We exceeded our projected match of $8,127; our calculations indicate that our contribution was valued at $8677.12. We were very fortunate to have a great deal of labor, equipment, and some materials donated by professionals, municipal employees, and community volunteers. The original proposal for supplies called for $192.00 for mulch, $480.00 for irrigator bags, and $112.00 for stakes with a total of $784.00. We were able to have the mulch donated by the Town of Red Hook Recreation Park. All of the trees except six were planted at sites where regular watering schedules were possible; therefore we did not purchase the irrigator bags. The only stakes purchased were those that we now use for making sites for Dig Safely New York.

The proposal for planting prep labor by the town of Red Hook Hwy Dept. was $675.00. n additional allotment of $765.00 was for an outside contractor who would provide one person plus truck for nine hours for a total of $1,440. Site preparation for four planting sessions was done by the Town of Red Hook Highway Dept., Village of Red Hook Highway Dept. Decker Construction Inc., and Integral Tree and Landscape. It breaks down as follows:

The Town of Red Hook Hwy. Dept. (labor and equipment) $526.49
The Village of Red Hook Hwy. Dept. (labor and equipment) $161.86
Decker Construction Inc. (labor and equipment) $718.00
Integral Tree and Landscape (labor and equipment) $1,240.06
Total $2,646.41

The grant proposal for an ISA certified arborist was $600.00 for six consults at $100/hour. Integral Tree and Landscape donated the services of ISA certified arborist Angelo Schembari for a two year period for $875.00.

The grant proposed two Park staff for watering and maintenance for 20 hrs x $15.00 for $600.00. The actual work done was 31hrs x $15.19 x 2 for $941.78 and additional 3hrs.x$15.19×1 for $45.57 for a total of $937.45.

The grant proposed 16 volunteers@ $15.00 hr. x 3 days for $3,600. There were actually four planting sessions for a total of 13 hrs. Over the two year period we had 42 volunteer planters. The total for volunteer planters came to $1190.75. (It was necessary to change to hourly minimum wage).

Administration and planning was set for $800.00. However the actual contribution was $3,015.96. There was a great deal of networking with many town officials, committees, departments and community groups.

In summary:
Grant amount $7,982.00
Actual expenditure 7,671.62
Match Amount 8,127.00
Actual Match 8,677.12
Proposed Project Total Cost 16,109.00
Actual cost 16,348.74

Red Hook's Mill Road Elementary students planting tree seedlings
Red Hook’s Mill Road Elementary students planting tree seedlings

The project was a great success. It was our goal to involve all aspects of the community; municipal employees, school groups, professional tree businesses, community clubs and organizations and community members at large. As they say … it takes a village.

Thank you for providing this wonderful opportunity to keep our community well forested which makes Red Hook a healthy and beautiful place to live.

-Nancy Guski, Chair of the Town of Red Hook Tree Preservation Commission

 

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