Message from President Andy Hillman:
Our New Grant Program
Happy New Year from the Council!
As we begin a new year we also begin a new and exciting program. This is a first for the NYSUFC; we are moving ahead with our new Arbor Day Community Grant Program. Although we kicked it off at the end of 2014, this year will mark the first time the Council will award grants and administer the program.
The Arbor Day Community Grant Program is funded by the USDA Forest Service and the NYSDEC Urban Forestry Program. The Council has a total of $10,000 for grants up to $1,000 for communities of fewer than 65,000 people. The grants are intended to fund an Arbor Day event and begin a forestry program.
Besides being a small community of less than 65,000, eligible applicants must have not already achieved Tree City USA (TCUSA) status. The idea is to move communities toward TCUSA, a program of the Arbor Day Foundation, which serves as a benchmark for measuring the success of the NYSDEC Urban Forestry Program.
Eleven communities applied for grants before the December 2nd deadline. If all the applicants are accepted by the Council, it is possible for us to fund all of them since not all requested the maximum amount of $1,000.
A review committee will meet soon to score the applications. Awards should be determined by February 12th. At that time, the Council will make up to 50% of the award amount available to eligible communities. After the Arbor Day event, and upon approval of receipts, the Council will provide the remainder of the grant.
2015 is starting out on a very positive note as we roll out our first-ever grant program. Stand by for many more exciting events! —Andy Hillman, Andrew.Hillman@Davey.com