AUGUSTA – Project Canopy, Maine’s community forestry program, a program of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Maine Forest Service, has up to $100,000 available to Maine’s local governments, municipalities, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations through its community assistance grant program. The program has awarded community forestry project grants totaling more than $600,000 since 2015.

“Project Canopy community assistance grants help communities with general maintenance planning, and they allow towns to respond to threats from invasive pests, such as the emerald ash borer,” said Project Canopy Coordinator Jan Ames Santerre, according to a news release from the department. “We’re on a mission to sustain healthy urban and community forests because they provide a multitude of economic, environmental and social benefits.”

“We’re very pleased to have this opportunity to partner with urban forest managers across Maine,” said DACF Commissioner Amanda Beal, according to the release. “Planting and managing trees provides many tangible benefits to communities and can also demonstrate a positive strategy in our efforts to mitigate climate change, and at the most basic level, they make Maine’s communities more beautiful.”

Project Canopy grants are available in two categories: Planning and Education and Tree Planting and Maintenance. Planning and Education grants have a maximum award of $10,000 and typically range from $6,000 to $8,000, and require a 50% cost-share with cash or in-kind services. Planting and maintenance grants have a maximum award of $8,000.

Recent (2020) Project Canopy grants examples include:
Rockland ($8,000), Auburn ($8,000), and Poland ($4,000) planting trees in downtowns and town parks.
Alfred ($4,000), Bangor ($7,500), and Cumberland ($6,000) management planning for community forests and related educational developments.

To be eligible to apply for a 2021 Project Canopy Assistance Grants, interested applicants must attend a pre-application, online grant workshop, Wednesday, Feb. 3. The workshop will cover grant writing, project development, sustainable community forestry management, and grant administration. Grant applications are due by 5 p.m., Friday, March 12.

To learn more about Project Canopy Assistance Grants and to enroll in the grant workshop, call Jan Ames Santerre at 207-287-4987.

For more information about the Project Canopy, visit projectcanopy.me.

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