Iowa communities with a population over 5,000 have the opportunity to learn more about tree care, identification and inventory in their community through a grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Most of these target communities do not have dedicated forestry personnel or expertise, but may have staff that can be trained that would allow each community to have a sustainable forestry program.
The two-year grant program will accept 10 communities this year, and 10 next year. Each community will receive intensive training by a team from the Iowa DNR including district foresters, urban forestry, forest health, urban council and members from the Iowa Arborists Association.
Training will cover tree identification, health, inventory, planting, corrective pruning and maintenance, benefits of urban trees, ordinances and community outreach.
Through this cooperative effort between the Iowa DNR and the U.S. Forest Service, each selected community will have a complete street tree inventory, canopy cover analysis, and an urban tree management plan with goals and methods to increase its tree canopy.
“This is an ideal way for communities to learn how to prepare for, and manage, emerald ash borer, as well as make their community more livable by increasing the urban tree canopy,” said Laura Wagner, with the Iowa DNR’s Forestry Bureau.
Grant applications and instructions are available online at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Environment/Forestry/UrbanForestry.aspx. The deadline to apply is September 1.