Each year, VT UCF is required to report to the US Forest Service on the educational, technical, and financial asisstance that we provide to Vermont municipalities through our regular programming and special projects. Our staff keeps track of this information in a comprehensive database and it is grounding each year to review our overall reach and impact and consider how we can improve - and where to focus our capacity - in the year ahead. Here are some highlights from federal fiscal year 2021 (October 1st, 2020 - September 30th, 2021):
- Our staff provided direct educational, financial, or technical assistance to 137 Vermont municipalities.
- 110 municipalities currently have in place at least one benchmark for a sustainble urban and community forestry program (an active management plan, dedicated staff, a tree ordinance, or an advocacy group).
- We estimate that at least 11,500 volunteer hours were contributed towards tree stewardship activities statewide.
- VT UCF awarded over $75,000 in 25 separate grants through our Ash Tree Managmeent grant and our 2021 Arbor Day Tree Planting grant programs.
- 816 free trees were given to citizens in five municipalities through our Vermont Community Canopy program.
- New resources for tree wardens - including the launch of Tree Warden School - and to support understanding of municipal tree law were developed through a partnership with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.
- 50 libaries received Arbor Day Celebration Kits to conduct local programming focused on community trees.
- We supported the designation of 9 Tree City USA communities, representing approximately 20% of Vermont's total population.
- We closed out a 5-year project funded through a special US Forest Service grant focused on supporting recreation planning in town forests. If you haven't already, check out the Town Forest Recreation Planning Toolkit and case studies of the 10 partner municipalities that developed pilot plans covering over 3,600 acres of municipal forests.