April 28, 3023


Funding Supports Community Tree Projects to Protect Natural Resources, Air, and Water Quality and Help Combat Climate Change

Governor Kathy Hochul today commemorated Arbor Day by announcing that $3 million in new competitive grant funding is now available for municipalities, Indian Nations, and not-for-profit organizations for urban and community forestry projects. This new grant funding will increase the health of community forests and strengthen local community forestry programs.

“New York State is proud to celebrate Arbor Day with tree plantings across the state and offering this grant opportunity for projects in communities to inventory, plant, and maintain public trees,” Governor Hochul said. “These community partnerships will protect and enhance our state’s natural resources and beautify our neighborhoods while also improving quality of life for a greener future.”

Arbor Day is a national observance that celebrates the role of trees and promotes tree planting and care. First celebrated in 1872, Arbor Day was established as a way to encourage farmers and homesteaders to plant trees that would provide shade, shelter, food, fuel, and beauty to open areas. In New York, Arbor Day is traditionally celebrated the last Friday in April.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos highlighted this new funding opportunity today at an Arbor Day tree planting event with the city of Albany, local partners, and students at Eagle Point Elementary School.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Arbor Day is an opportunity to remember the value of trees in daily life and planting and maintaining trees is one of the best things we can do to protect our environment. The grants announced today are one of many successful forestry tools DEC is using to advance the State’s forest conservation goals, invest in communities across the state, and implement the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act Scoping Plan recommendations.”

Eligible Urban and Community Forest (UCF) grant applicants are communities with populations greater than 65,000. Applicants may apply for up to $100,000 to fund tree inventory, community forest management planning, tree planting, or tree maintenance projects. Applicants in smaller communities may apply for up to $75,000. To access these grant opportunities, visit the Grants Gateway site at https://grantsmanagement.ny.gov/ and search for “tree.” DEC01-UCF1-2023 is the opportunity for tree inventory and community forest management plan projects and has a grant application deadline of June 21, 2023; DEC01-UCF2-2023 is the opportunity for tree planting and tree maintenance projects and has a grant application deadline of August 16, 2023. To learn more about the State’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, visit DEC’s webpage at https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/5285.html.

A free web-based information session about this grant will be held on Thursday, May 4, at 10 a.m. To join the two-hour information session, go to https://meetny.webex.com/meetny/j.php?MTID=m8632d7da909b7fed96091732ef0a1b48. The first half will be about the grant requirements and the second half about how to navigate Grants Gateway. For anyone who cannot attend the information session, a recording will be posted on the Urban and Community Forestry grants webpage at https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/5285.html.

Funding for the grant program is provided by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). The Governor’s 2023-24 Executive Budget sustains the EPF at a historic $400 million. The EPF provides funding for critical environmental programs such as land acquisition, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, enhanced recreational access, water quality improvement, and an aggressive environmental justice agenda.