The New York State Urban Forestry Council is pleased to announce available funding for communities to hold a 2020 Arbor Day tree planting event and to establish a community-based forestry program. Many blog posts have appeared here about past recipients of this grant and how they used their Quick Start (also known as Arbor Day) grant funds.

Communities (and not-for-profits that work with communities) can apply for up to $1,000. Funding has been provided by the USDA Forest Service. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on February 14, 2020. Full grant information and application can be found here.

The intent of this grant is to help municipalities establish a community forestry program and move toward becoming a Tree City USA community. The Arbor Day Foundation prepared the following infographic about Tree City USA in New York.

Tree City USA is a program of the Arbor Day Foundation. Please note that this Quick Start Grant is not associated with the Arbor Day Foundation nor is it part of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program funded by the NYS Environmental Protection Fund.

Communities are eligible if they would like to attain Tree City status but are lacking any of the components of the Tree City USA program. The four components of a Tree City USA program are having a tree ordinance, tree board, $2/capita budgeted for trees, and an annual Arbor Day celebration. Definitions and details of those components can be found on the Tree City USA website.

Eligible projects include:

  • planting trees (see the recommended resources listed in the application package  for guidance on tree species selection to support urban forest diversity)
  • holding an Arbor Day ceremony, which does not have to be on the official Arbor Day (April 24th for 2020), but please plan for a spring event
  • forming a volunteer tree committee within the municipality

Eligible expenses may include but are not limited to trees, mulch, soil, printing of a program, and advertising to publicize the event.

Communities that are currently a Tree City USA or are a recipient of previous NYS Urban Forestry Council Arbor Day/Quick Start grants are ineligible. Please see the 2020 Quick Start Grant Application Package, and best of luck, with both the grant and with building your community forestry program.