Maine Forest Service offers $1 million in grants to expand urban tree canopy

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The Maine Forest Service is offering $1 million in grants for projects that will help establish sustainable urban woodlands, increase awareness of the benefits of trees and enhance community health and livability.

Funded through the federal Inflation Reduction Act, the service is offering $250,000 in Project Canopy grants and $750,000 in federal Urban and Community Forestry Program grants, according to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Under Maine’s Project Canopy program, planning and education grants are available for projects that would promote sustainable community forestry management and increase awareness of the benefits of trees and forests. The maximum award would be $20,000.

Project Canopy also would provide planting and maintenance grants up to $15,000 for forestry projects that would enhance community health and livability. Project Canopy grants require a 50% match from applicants in cash or in-kind services.

Urban and Community Forestry Program grants are available for projects that would encompass a wide range of activities, including urban canopy establishment and use, workforce development, climate mitigation, and community tree care and management. The maximum award would be $200,000.

Applicants must participate in a mandatory online workshop Feb. 28, from 1-3 p.m., which will provide information about grant writing and administration, project development and sustainable community forest management. Additional office hours will be held March 12 and 26, and April 9 and 23.

Grant applications must be submitted to the service by 11:59 p.m. on May 15. For more information, email Jan.santerre@maine.gov or call 207-287-4987.

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