Nearly $400,000 in Urban and Community Forestry Grants Awarded to Support the Management of New Jersey Trees and Forests

The Department of Environmental Protection is awarding nearly $400,000 in grants to 20 municipalities and two counties to promote the stewardship of urban and community trees and forests.

“Trees and forests are important to us on so many levels, providing habitat for wildlife, cleaning the air we breathe, providing shade, contributing to a healthier environment and improving the quality of life in our towns and cities,” said DEP Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources Ray Bukowski. “It is a priority of the New Jersey Forest Service to not only plant trees in our communities and urban areas, but to ensure their long-term survival through proper planning and management.”

Since 2000, the New Jersey Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program began awarding Stewardship Grants to provide financial assistance to counties and municipalities statewide to help them implement their local Community Forestry Management Plans.

The “Treasure Our Trees” state license plate sales and the No Net Loss Compensatory Reforestation program funded the 2018 grants.

The grants are used for work on a wide range of projects, such as community tree inventories, tree planting and reforestation.

They may also be used by local governments to manage impacts from the emerald ash borer, an invasive tree-killing beetle that is causing widespread losses of ash trees across the nation. Since its first detection in New Jersey in 2014, the ash borer has been found in 71 municipalities in 13 counties.

With grant funding, communities can conduct inventories to identify ash trees, develop emerald ash borer mitigation plans and replace ash trees that are removed with another tree species.

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