Maine Government News
Maine Forest Service: Project Canopy Offers Community Forestry Grants
September 17, 2012
Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
AUGUSTA, Maine – Project Canopy, the Maine Forest Service’s community forestry program, will award $100,000 in grants to local governments and municipalities, educational institutions and non-profit organizations that support community efforts to develop and maintain long-term community forestry programs.
Project Canopy, a cooperative partnership between the Maine Forest Service, under the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and GrowSmart Maine, a statewide organization, 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, Jan Ames Santerre, Project Canopy coordinator, said.
Funded by the U.S. Forest Service, the Project Canopy grants are available in two categories: planning and education grants; and tree planting and maintenance grants. About $20,000 in grant funds also is available specifically for projects in the Presumpscot watershed, Santerre said.
“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,” Santerre said. The total economic impact of the horticulture industry in Maine is $286 million annually, and the industry supports 7,826 jobs.
Since 2003, Project Canopy has awarded more than $1.2 million in funding for community forestry projects. The average grants range from $6,000 to $8,000 and require a 50-percent cost-share with cash or in-kind services, the program director said.
One project of note is the $7,940 grant awarded to the town of Monson in Piscataquis County, Santerre said.
“New shade and ornamental trees will complement other downtown improvements to make the main street more pedestrian friendly, increase safety through traffic calming, and enhance the business district by making it more attractive to shoppers, businesses, and residents alike,” the project coordinator said.
“Tree-lined streets are good for business and the environment and can help foster a sense of community pride,” she noted.
The planning and education grants have a maximum award of $10,000, while the planting and maintenance grants have a maximum award of $8,000. To be eligible to apply for a 2012 assistance grant, all applicants must attend a grant workshop before submitting an application. Grant workshops will be scheduled this month at various locations around the state. The workshops will cover such topics as grant writing, project development, sustainable community forestry management and grant administration.
Grant applications are due at the Maine Forest Service by 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 22.
The Presumpscot Watershed Project grants require the same workshop and application process, Santerre said. Organizations interested in learning more should contact Project Canopy specifically about those grants.
“The Presumpscot Watershed Project grants are the same projects only slightly different in that they focus on the value of trees and forests in providing clean water for the Presumpscot River and Sebago Lake,” Santerre said.
To learn more about the Project Canopy Assistance program and to sign up for a grant workshop in your area, contact Project Canopy at (207) 287-4987.
More information is available on the web at http://projectcanopy.maine.gov.