A Technical and Financial Assistance Package to Help Grow Downtown Trees
The Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program (VT UCF) recognizes that in many Vermont municipalities, tree planting, and maintenance is guided by local volunteers, community groups, and municipal staff with many other duties. Despite attempts to invigorate a sustainable municipal tree program, many municipalities lack training, funding, and volunteer and staff commitment that ensures a thoughtful and well-supported urban forestry program. VT UCF is seeking two urban municipal partners willing to utilize technical and financial assistance to invest in their urban forest and the community that cares for it throughout the 2022 calendar year. The intent of the Resilient Urban Forests for All Assistance Package is to support and grow downtown trees and forests in Vermont’s most populated areas in partnership with communities that lack capacity and need assistance to advance their urban forestry programs. Accordingly, eligible municipalities must:
- Be within a U.S. Census-defined urban area or urban cluster
- Must not already be a designated Tree City USA community
Funding for this initaitive was provided by the USDA Forest Service through the 2021 State Urban Forest Resilience grant program.
Partner municipalities will receive a package valued at over $20,000 that includes:
- A $10,000 grant for strategic tree planting and/or maintenance of existing trees.
- A minimum of 50 hours of direct assistance from VT UCF’s Technical Assistance Coordinator for assessment of needs, plan and program development, and site and tree selection and sourcing, including a minimum of 3 site visits.
- A minimum of 20 hours of VT UCF staff or intern time spent updating an existing tree inventory or conducting an initial inventory of publicly managed trees.
- Tree care supplies and resources, such as irrigation or watering bags, pruners, pole pruners, or printed guides, totaling $500 in value.
- 1 basic tree care training for municipal staff.
- 100 free trees for private property owners through the 2022 Vermont Community Canopy program, run in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation.
- A Vermont Tree Stewards training for local youth groups, educators, or volunteers willing to engage with the municipality’s urban forestry program in a capacity that best suits the broader community
Municipal partners will be required to commit to:
- Providing at least $2,500 in-kind staff time or cash match.
- Assigning a municipal staff point of contact or the town-appointed tree warden who will participate in a minimum of 3 in-person planning meetings.
- Assisting VT UCF staff in coordinating the local Community Canopy tree giveaway program, basic tree care training, and volunteer training and workday.
- Taking intentional steps towards meeting the required standards of the Tree City USA designation program, as a benchmark for a sustainable urban forestry program. The four standards of Tree City USA designation are:
- development of a tree board or department
- drafting and accepting a tree care ordinance or policy
- an urban forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita
- an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
Note that 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations may apply in partnership with a municipality but must include a letter of support from the governing entity of the municipality in the application packet.
2022 Resilient Urban Forests For All Municipal Partnership and Technical And Financial Assistance Package
Applications due no later than 5pm on Thursday, December 9th, 2021.
With special funding from the US Forest Service, this partnership opportunity supports resilient urban and community forests specifically focused on Vermont's most populated areas with demonstrated need to support healthy urban tree canopy and the people that steward them. This funding is intended for municipalities in a U.S. Census-defined urban area or urban cluster that are not already designated as a Tree City USA.
Vermont municipalities included within a U.S. Census-defined urban area or urban cluster are eligible for funding. Based on the 2010 U.S. Census, eligible municipalities are:
St. Albans City
This list is consistent with the Vermont 2010 Population and Housing Unit Counts Report, issued July 2012 by the U.S. Census Bureau. Click for more information on Census definitions and reference maps for urban areas and urban clusters.
As 2020 U.S. Census information and data are released, the eligible municipalities list may change. If you would like to discuss your municipality's potential eligibility, please contact email@example.com.
Assistance Package Documents
Note: if using the fillable PDF, download the form to your computer BEFORE beginning to fill it out.
- Grantee Insurance Guidance
- Risk Assessment Questionnaire for the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation
For more information or assistance, contact the VT UCF staff listed below.
- Grant Application or Submission Questions: Joanne Garton, (802) 249-4217 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Project Development Questions: Elise Schadler, (802) 522-6015 or email@example.com