DEEP Announces Urban Forestry Planning Grant Opportunity, Additional Grant Opportunities Coming Soon
$150,000 Now Available Through the Urban and Community Forestry Planning Grant Program; Nearly $3M in Additional Urban Forestry Grant Opportunities Coming in 2024
(HARTFORD) — The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is pleased to announce the Urban and Community Forestry Planning Grant Program with support from the U.S. Forest Service. This grant program is available to municipalities and non-profit organizations in Connecticut to pursue planning projects such as tree inventories, management plans, or other monitoring programs that will help communities make informed management decisions about their urban and community forests.
Trees and forests in our cities and towns play a key role in filtering our air and water, maintaining biodiversity, building social cohesion within our communities, and improving health outcomes for residents. The importance of the urban forest is underscored by our rapidly changing climate. Not only do trees store and sequester carbon as they grow, they also help mitigate climate change impacts such as elevated temperatures and flooding.
“Cities can be up to 19° hotter than surrounding rural areas, so trees in urban areas play a critical role in reducing temperatures to help make cities safer and more livable for residents while also reducing energy consumption,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “Trees also absorb stormwater, another green infrastructure tool that cities can leverage to reduce flooding and improve water quality in their communities.”
The Urban and Community Forestry Planning Grant Program currently has $150,000 available to assist with planning projects. It will be the first of DEEP’s Urban and Community Forestry grant programs to use an online grant application. This online application is intended to improve the application submission experience, expedite the sub-award process, and increase access to grant programs especially for organizations and municipalities that are new to grant writing.
More grant funding is becoming available in early 2024. Through support from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Urban Forest Resilience Grant Program, the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as $500,000 allocated through the Governor’s budget, nearly $3 million in total will be available in sub-grants through 2028. Funds will help local communities implement urban forestry projects and support efforts to increase urban forest cover by 5% in environmental justice communities by 2040 as required under Public Act 23-206. Additional grant programs will provide funding for restoration of urban riparian corridors, tree removal and replacement, and efforts to increase tree cover in environmental justice areas.
Those interested in learning more about the Urban and Community Forestry Planning Grant program should go here: Urban and Community Forestry Planning Grant Program (ct.gov). The deadline for applications is October 24th, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. Anyone with questions on this grant opportunity is encouraged to send questions to DEEP.UCF.Grants@ct.gov by September 26th to inform a frequently asked questions document that will be published on the DEEP Grants website by September 29th.
Applicants interested in learning about the various urban forestry grant opportunities that will be available in the near future are encouraged to attend the Urban and Community Forestry Program’s Grant Office Hours to ask specific questions about the grant categories, application development, and submission process. More information on these grant opportunities, including eligibility criteria and grant office hours, can be found here.
Green infrastructure uses vegetation, soil, and other elements and practices to restore some of the natural processes required to manage water and create healthier urban environments. At the city or county scale, green infrastructure is a patchwork of natural areas that provides habitat, flood protection, cleaner air, and cleaner water. At the neighborhood or site scale, stormwater management systems mimic nature to soak up and store water. DEEP has multiple grant programs that can support green infrastructure projects in communities. Check out the sites below to learn more.
- Urban Green and Community Gardens Grant Program
- DEEP Clean Water Act Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grants
- Clean Water Fund - Municipal Wastewater Green Infrastructure Projects