AUGUSTA — Project Canopy, the Maine Forest Service’s community forestry program, recently awarded $116,939 in grants to local governments and municipalities, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. The grant recipients support community efforts to develop and maintain long-term community forestry programs, according to a news release from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

In all, 17 awards were made for planning/education and planting/maintenance. The Project Canopy grants are funded by the U.S. Forest Service.

“These awards support community forestry programs growing trees that both enhance quality of life and that have multiple uses in the Maine economy,” said Commissioner Walt Whitcomb, in the release. “Urban forestry can also help raise awareness of professional forest practices being practiced on a larger scale throughout Maine.

According to Project Canopy Director Jan Ames Santerre, the awards were selected from a total 21 applications — seven from new communities and organizations, with grant requests totaling $155,714. “These grants not only support significant community forestry projects, but they also support and create jobs throughout the state in the green industry, including nurseries, landscapers, foresters and loggers,” said Santerre, in the release.

Planning Grant recipients:

• City of Auburn — $9,000

• City of Biddeford — $10,000

• City of Sanford — $5,000

• Greenways Center, Belfast — $6,290

• McLaughlin Foundation — $6,000

• Somerset Woods Trustees — $5,645

• Town of Camden — $10,000

• Town of North Berwick— $6,642

• Town of Veazie — $7,190

Planting Grant recipients:

• City of Portland — $5,000

• Teresa C. Hamlin School, Randolph — $1,809

• Town of Alfred — $8,000

• Town of Machias — $8,000

• Town of Scarborough — $8,000

• Town of Standish — $8,000

• Town of Yarmouth — $6,000

• Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve — $6,364

Local Project:

• Randolph’s Teresa C. Hamlin School is a small elementary school in Randolph, serving students in grades pre-K through 5. As the only school in Randolph and one of the few public buildings, students and community members take advantage of the centrally located school campus, but there is not a spot of shade to be found on a sunny day.

With this grant from Project Canopy, eight trees will be planted to provide shade as well as a living educational tool for students and their families. The trees will provide ample opportunity for nature-based education, including lessons around soil, plant needs and tree propagation, followed by lessons on seed dispersal, plant parts, and ecosystems as the trees develop. Apple trees will soon bear fruit that will be made into applesauce by the students.

For more information about Project Canopy, call Santerre at 287-4987 or visit www.projectcanopy.me.

For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, visit www.maine.gov/dacf.