Project Canopy, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s community forestry program, will award $100,000 in grants to local governments, municipalities, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations that support efforts to develop and maintain long-term community forestry programs, according to a news release from Project Canopy.

Funded by the USDA Forest Service, the grants are available in two categories: planning and education grants and tree planting and maintenance grants. Typical grants range from $6,000 to $8,000 and require a 50% cost-share with cash or in-kind services.

Since 2015, Project Canopy has awarded more than $500K in funding for community forestry projects.

The Maine Forest Service under the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry program encourages communities to develop project proposals that support sustainable community forestry management, increase awareness of the benefits of trees and forests, and increase the health and livability of communities through sound tree planting and maintenance.

Project Canopy Director Jan Ames Santerre provided recent examples of community projects that can benefit from Project Canopy grants. Projects of note in 2019 include Augusta ($10,000), Greenville ($3,951), and Bridgton ($8,000) to plant trees in downtowns and town parks; and Wells ($10,000), Lubec ($7,850), and Denmark ($3,000) for management planning for community forests and related educational developments.

“In addition to helping communities with general maintenance planning, these grants allow towns to respond to threats from invasive pests such as the emerald ash borer. They can also support community efforts to create more inviting downtowns and neighborhoods, and improve Maine’s cities and towns through the multitude of economic, environmental and social benefits urban and community trees provide,” said Santerre, according to the release.

Planning and education grants have a maximum award of $10,000, while planting and maintenance grants have a maximum award of $8,000.

To be eligible to apply for a 2020 assistance grant, all applicants must attend a grant workshop before applying. The grant workshop will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 12, via the web. The workshop will cover such topics as grant writing, project development, sustainable community forestry management, and grant administration.

Grant applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, March 6.

To learn more about the Project Canopy Assistance program and to sign up for a grant workshop, call Santerre at 287-4987, or visi  projectcanopy.me.

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