Deadline To Apply For 2020 Tree Funding Grants Is July 31, Communities Given Landscape Improvement Opportunity

Deadline To Apply For 2020 Tree Funding Grants Is July 31, Communities Given Landscape Improvement Opportunity
Courtesy of Nebraska Forest Service. TNT tree planning from a previous year’s effort.

LINCOLN – Nebraska communities will have the opportunity to apply for a pair of public tree planting projects over the next couple of months.

According to a release from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, 2020 will mark the third year of the Trees for Nebraska Towns (TNT) program thanks to funding from the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

The TNT program provides matching funds and technical assistance to public tree planting projects in Nebraska communities. The focus is on large-maturing trees and species diversity. Funds are available for fall 2020/spring 2021 projects and communities are invited to apply as the maximum request per project is $20,000.

TNT works to enhance community forests while addressing various environmental challenges. The goals of this program include reversing the decline of community forests and increasing a wide range of economic, environmental, aesthetic and social benefits provided by well-designed landscapes. TNT also strives to increase the appreciation and awareness of community forest benefits and challenges. This program advances the Environmental Trust’s priorities of improving the state’s habitat and air, soil and water quality.

To be eligible, projects must provide clear public benefit and be located within or near the incorporated limits of a Nebraska community. Typical planting sites include but are not limited to street trees, parks, schools, college campuses, libraries, courthouses, fairgrounds and cemeteries. Funds are not available for homeowners, however individuals interested in coordinating a neighborhood-wide project can apply for funding through a neighborhood association or other organization.

To encourage more planting, those interested are also recommended to apply for “Free Trees for Fall Planting,” which offers up to 10 trees per project and was designed for projects that don’t quite fit the TNT program. For this grant, recipients need to conduct public outreach efforts as higher-need neighborhoods are highly encouraged to apply. The trees offered by this program are small enough to be manageable by volunteers, but big enough to have neighborhood impact.

Both applications are due by July 31 as the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum is also requiring advance planning. These projects are also aimed at volunteer planting and getting people of all ages involved.

Applications for TNT can be found by visiting https://plantnebraska.org/TNT and “Free Trees” at https://plantnebraska.org/freetrees. For more information on TNT, contact Kendall Weyers at 402-472-6693 or email kweyers2@unl.edu.

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