Support for Community Forestry

April 3, 2017

For more information contact: Jan Ames Santerre at (207) 287-4987

AUGUSTA – Project Canopy, the Maine Forest Service’s community forestry program, recently awarded $116,939 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. In all, seventeen awards were made for planning/Education and planting/maintenance. The Project Canopy grants are funded by the U.S. Forest Service.

“These awards support community forestry programs growing trees that both enhance quality of life and that have multiple uses in the Maine economy,” said Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. “Urban forestry can also help raise awareness of professional forest practices being practiced on a larger scale throughout Maine.

According to Project Canopy Director Jan Ames Santerre, the awards were selected from a total 21 applications – 7 from new communities and organizations, with grant requests totaling $155,714. “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,” said Santerre.

Planning Grants were awarded to:

  • City of Auburn - $9,000
  • City of Biddeford - $10,000
  • City of Sanford - $5,000
  • Greenways Center, Belfast - $6,290
  • McLaughlin Foundation - $6,000
  • Somerset Woods Trustees - $5,645
  • Town of Camden - $10,000
  • Town of North Berwick- $6,642
  • Town of Veazie - $7,190

Planting grants were awarded to:

  • City of Portland - $5,000
  • Teresa C. Hamilin School, Randolph - $1,809
  • Town of Alfred - $8,000
  • Town of Machias - $8,000
  • Town of Scarborough - $8,000
  • Town of Standish - $8,000
  • Town of Yarmouth - $6,000
  • Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve - $6,364

Some Projects:

Machias has created a plan for bringing native trees to the downtown - an area nearly barren of native vegetation, consisting of parking lots, business buildings, utility poles and wires – to welcome residents and visitors alike. The entire community will become a part of the planting, including students from the local high school agricultural program; members of the Machias Rotary Club, Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce and other civic groups; business owners, sorority and fraternity members at the University of Maine at Machias, and the JMG classes at Machias Memorial High School. Younger students will also be invited to participate in tree planting days as part of agricultural and civic engagement education. This initiative is part of a multi-year downtown revitalization program that Machias is undertaking. Other projects under way or planned for the near future include an Edible Garden, upgrade of walking trails along the river, lighting and enhancements at Bad Little Falls and an upgrade of sidewalks and street lighting.

Randolph’s Teresa C. Hamlin School (TCH) is a small elementary school located in the town of Randolph, Maine serving students in grades pre-K through 5. As the only school in Randolph and one of the few public buildings, students and community members alike take advantage of the centrally-located school campus, but there is not a spot of shade to be found on a sunny day. With this grant from Project Canopy, they will plant eight new trees to provide shade as well as a living educational tool for students and their families. The trees will provide ample opportunity for nature-based education, including lessons around soil, plant needs, and tree propagation, followed by lessons on seed dispersal, plant parts, and ecosystems as the trees develop. Apple trees will soon bear fruit that will be made into applesauce by the students.

Alfred - Decades ago, the Town of Alfred planted 9 trees – crabapples and Norway maples – in the town square. It’s unclear if the original planters were aware of the nature of those trees, but what is clear now is that they need to be removed. Alfred plans to replace those aging trees, along with two old maples near the library, with disease resistant elms and native sugar maples, one again bringing shade to the town square of this great classic New England village adjacent to so many historic homes.

Project Canopy:

Is a program of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Maine Forest Service. It 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 is funded by the USDA Forest Service Community Forestry Assistance Program. The USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program was established to promote natural resource management in populated areas and improve quality of life. Since 2003, Project Canopy has awarded more than $1.5 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.

Project Canopy Assistance Grants are available to state, county, and municipal governments, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations for developing and implementing community forestry projects and programs. Planting projects increase the health and livability of communities through sound tree planting and maintenance, while planning and education projects support sustainable community forestry management, and efforts to increase awareness of the benefits of trees and forests.

To learn more about the Project Canopy Assistance program, contact Project Canopy Director Jan Ames Santerre at (207) 287-4987.

More information is available on the web at http://www.projectcanopy.me

For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to: http://www.maine.gov/dacf