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Wisconsin DNR boosts urban forestry grants
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/14/2024

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is doubling down on its commitment to urban forestry by awarding a second round of grants in the 2024 Urban Forestry Grant Program.

This tranche allocates $143,362 to seven Wisconsin communities, bringing the total program distribution to nearly $805,000. Funded by both state and federal dollars, with a requirement for matching contributions from recipients, these grants aim to bolster urban tree cover and the environmental and health benefits it provides.

Cities and villages like Algoma, Butler, Greenfield, Onalaska, River Falls, Sheboygan, and Wauwatosa will receive grants ranging from $8,825 to $25,000. The DNR previously announced the first round of recipients in December 2023.

Beyond financial backing, the Urban Forestry Grant Program prioritizes initiatives that go the extra mile. This year's program specifically targets projects that strengthen the capabilities of local municipalities to expand their urban forestry programs.

Additionally, grants favor endeavors that secure long-term funding for these initiatives, ensuring their sustainability beyond the initial grant period. Notably, the program values collaboration, looking favorably on projects that benefit multiple communities and foster a collaborative spirit. Finally, the DNR seeks to leverage existing resources by encouraging proposals that make use of current data on urban trees, optimizing the impact of the grants.

Urban tree canopies are like green havens within our cities and towns. They provide many environmental and health advantages, including mitigating the urban heat island effect, removing pollutants from the air, water, and soil, and even contributing to improved mental health.

By supporting the expansion of urban forestry programs, the DNR's grant program is fostering a greener, healthier future for Wisconsin communities.

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