By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Oklahoma Forestry Services, in partnership with the US Forest Service and the Oklahoma Community Forestry Council, is accepting applications through November 13 from local governments, non-profits, neighborhood associations, civic groups, educational institutions and tree volunteer groups.
The Urban and Community Cost Share Grant Program mission is to help communities across the state improve their forests.
Grants are available to support for a wide variety of projects and resources needed to assess, plan, maintain and improve urban and community forests.
This funding can be used for projects such as forestry plans, conducting tree inventories, staffing, tree board development and tree protection ordinance development or revisions.
Other projects that will be considered include public education materials, training, arboretum development and demonstrations projects that include tree maintenance or construction protection.
A full list of acceptable projects can be found online in the application.
“We encourage organizations to use this opportunity to enhance their forested areas because trees are a vital asset to communities, providing health, environmental and economic benefits,” said Mark Bays, Oklahoma Forestry Services Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator.
“We want to assist those communities that want to take a proactive approach to planning and caring for their trees,” Bays added.
Oklahoma Forestry Services, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, is committed to conserving, enhancing and protecting Oklahoma’s 12.5 million acres of forests and woodlands.
Since 1925 Oklahoma Forestry Services has worked with individuals and communities throughout the state to create resilient landscapes, fire-adaptive communities and provide wildfire response. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the division also has regional offices in Goldsby, Broken Bow, Wilburton and Tahlequah.
“The goals of the grant program are to improve the understanding of the benefits of community trees, increase the amount of canopy cover, and provide educational and technical guidance to plan, maintain, and improve our urban and community forests,” Bays said.
The Urban and Community Forestry Grants range from $1,000 to $10,000 and require that recipients provide 50/50 matching funds in cash, donations or in-kind contributions and/or services.
Applications, available on the Oklahoma Forestry Services website at forestry.ok.gov , must be completed and mailed to Oklahoma Forestry Services, 2800 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK 73105 by 5 p.m. on November 13.
All applicants will be notified of the status of their application by December 15. Recipients will have one year from start date to complete their project.
For questions or more information regarding the Forestry grants, contact Mark Bays at 405-522-6150 or [email protected]. To learn more, visit forestry.ok.gov.