Delaware’s Urban and Community Forestry Program offers a range of technical and financial assistance programs to help municipalities, nonprofit groups, community associations, and homeowners to plant and care for their trees.
The Delaware Forest Service has full-time forestry staff who assist cities, towns, and communities with the management and care of their urban forestry resources. These foresters can help guide your community in developing a management plan for its publicly owned forests (such as city or county parks, street trees, etc.). Foresters are able to do sick tree calls, answer tree questions, and make species and placement recommendations. Our staff also works with developers, planners, and engineers to help educate these individuals on methods to preserve trees during the development process. Your trees are a valued resource; don’t trust their care to just anybody. Hire an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist. An ISA-certified arborist is specially trained to care for individual trees.
Tree work should only be done by those properly insured, trained, and equipped to work safely in trees.
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Delaware’s Urban and Community Forestry Program offers annual grants up to $5,000 for tree planting or tree management projects on public land. The competitive grants – open to all municipalities, homeowner associations, and certified 501(c)(3) non-profits in the State of Delaware – require a 50-50 match in either cash (non-federal funds) or in-kind services, which includes volunteer or staff time, equipment rental, or supplies. Requests can range from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $5,000 in only one of two project categories: tree planting or tree management (i.e., professional tree inventory, hazardous tree removal, or pruning). Applicants are also required to schedule a site visit to review their project. Site visits must be scheduled at least one week in advance and completed no later than February 26, 2021. The last day to request a site visit is February 19, 2021.
Thanks to federal funding, in 2019 the Delaware Forest Service provided more than $110,000 for 29 tree projects in the First State.
Applications are judged on a competitive basis by a grant committee of the Delaware Community Forestry Council. Eligible projects must be performed on public lands within the community. Priority will be given to first time applicants, Tree Friendly Communities, and applicants that have passed an Urban Tree Canopy Goal Resolution (only applies to Municipalities). Complete details at delawaretrees.com.
“Community forests are critical to our quality of life. Trees provide cleaner air and water, wildlife habitat, lower energy costs, natural beauty, and improved property values. The Delaware Forest Service’s urban grant program is designed to help communities harness these many benefits. Tree projects can generate positive and lasting effects for years to come while also bringing residents and volunteers together to make their communities more livable and enjoyable,” said Kesha Braunskill, the Delaware Forest Service urban and community forestry program director.
NEW: The Urban and Community Forestry Tree Grant Dashboard page provides a visual overview of the history of Delaware’s tree grants. Since its inception, the grant program has awarded 568 grants totaling more than $1.75 million—resulting in the planting of more than 13,000 trees. Details includes the locations and dates of specific grant projects by county, legislative map, or school district. http://de.gov/treegrantdashboard.
The comprehensive database can list charts of the grants by year, county, and legislative district. The map to the right of the dashboard also allows viewers to zoom in to various parts of the state and then view specific projects by clicking on the blue dot.
As part of its mission, several informative publications, resources, and links are available to help with proper planning and developing effective strategies for tree planting, care, and management.