Green-Wood by Sarah Evans

The Chapel nestled among trees at Green-Wood Cemetery. Photo by Sara Evans

NYSDEC Urban and Community Forestry Grant Information Sessions in preparation for Round 14 of Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) grants are coming up in April at four locations around the State. Funding for the urban forestry grants from a total available $2.3 million will be awarded for projects by successful applicants in large and small communities throughout the State. The application will be available on the NYS Grants Gateway later in Spring 2018. Grants will be for project categories including tree planting and maintenance; education programs; and tree inventories and community forest management plans.

As communities look to apply for Round 14 grants, it’s helpful to look back at successful applications from previous rounds. For instance, Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn applied and received two Round 13 EPF grants: one under the category of tree planting or tree maintenance, and the other under the category of tree inventory or community forest management planning. Both were awarded at $75K, with the maintenance grant having a $25K match. These were the first EPF grants Green-Wood received.

Green-Wood by Sara Evans

Green-Wood Cemetery obtained its first EPF Grants in Round 13. Photo by Sara Evans

“Our tree maintenance award funded a pruning and removal initiative along Green-Wood’s 4.5-mile perimeter,” says Joseph Charap, Green-Wood Director of Horticulture and Curator. “We began work in December 2017 and finished the first week of March 2018. A total of 81 trees were impacted by this funding.”

Charap says that the drafting of Green-Wood’s tree management plan will begin in June 2018. “Davey Resource Group is taking the lead on that exciting project,” he says.

What advice does Charap have for new applicants on how to craft a successful application? “I think our use of GIS-based maps made our applications stronger, because through their use we were able to display distinct, specific dynamics that would be affected by funding. More details are always better,” he says.

He continues, “Regarding the perimeter component, I think we demonstrated that we intended to maximize the award by accomplishing a significant amount of work in the project scope. For the management grant, we made the case for a guide, one that would be referred to daily, in the management of our arboretum. There was a clear, immediate impact to both projects.”

Lastly, Charap says, “Implement efficiently! Have a plan on how the project will roll out should funding be awarded.”

green-wood Sara Evans

The urban forest of Green-Wood Cemetery on a moody day in fall. Photo by Sara Evans

Charap says that communication with the DEC “has been seamless and we’ve been able to accomplish a great deal with their generous support.”