WGVA 106.3FM 1240AMMix 98.5101.7 The WallWFLR Finger Lakes Country Classic Hits 99.3The Lake 100.1/104.5 WAUB 96.3FM 1590AM

$13.5 Million Awarded to Support NY’s Urban & Community Forestry


New York State has been awarded $13.5 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program. Funded through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, this grant program is designed to increase equitable access to trees and green spaces in urban and community forests to support building a clean energy economy, advance environmental justice, and create economic opportunity.

The DEC will soon be opening a grant application period for nearly $13 million of the IRA funding. Ten million dollars in grants will support Community Forest Management Plan Implementation, and $2.9 million will support Ash Tree Management. The remainder of the funds awarded will support grant administration. There is no applicant match required for the federal grant program for full projects in disadvantaged communities. The maximum request is $500,000 per application. The open application period for the grant opportunity will be announced in coming weeks.

DEC is holding a virtual information session on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. to provide information on this new, limited-time funding opportunity to support urban and community forestry projects in disadvantaged communities. The information session will cover eligible applicants and projects, application requirements and scoring, and other information that will help applicants plan their projects

“New York’s urban and community forests play an extremely important role in our environment and ensuring that all neighborhoods and communities have access to the benefits that trees provide, including in addressing the threats of our changing climate,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Thanks to this historic level of funding announced under President Biden and his Administration, we take another major step towards investing in and improving our environment and enhancing community green space for the next generations.”

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “This program is yet another way that the Biden-Harris Administration is investing in America and ensuring that all people, regardless of ZIP code or neighborhood, have equitable access to the benefits that trees and green spaces provide. Whether it’s reducing heat stress or creating jobs in tree-planting and maintenance, this grant funding will support local communities and partners who are working on the ground to advance environmental justice by mitigating the impact of climate change on communities who lack tree cover in urban spaces while giving kids more safe spaces to play outdoors.”

Get the top stories on your radio 24/7 on Finger Lakes News Radio 96.3 and 1590, WAUB and 106.3 and 1240, WGVA, and on Finger Lakes Country, 96.1/96.9/101.9/1570 WFLR.