Urban Forestry Grants Awarded to Tennessee Communities

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 | 07:00pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Governor Phil Bredesen and state Agriculture Commissioner Ken Givens today announced more than $138,000 in grants to 14 cities and communities across Tennessee for the purpose of assisting with urban forestry management.

“Our urban forests are an invaluable resource and, managed properly, can play an important role in reducing heat, controlling storm water and improving the quality of life in our developed areas,” Bredesen said. “This program is making a difference by helping our cities and communities maximize the benefit of this vital and often underutilized resource.”

The grants were approved after a review by state urban forestry officials and the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council grant review committee. Urban forestry grants are used by cities, communities and non-profit organizations for such things as hiring urban foresters, conducting educational programs and tree inventories or for tree plantings.

Urban Forestry is a USDA Forest Service funded program administered by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) Division of Forestry to help local governments and organizations better manage their urban forest resources. Well-managed trees in urban environments can aid economic development efforts and help with air quality, heat island effect, storm water retention, water quality and aesthetics.

“It’s important that we work together to promote proper tree management both in our cities and in our forested areas,” said Givens. “We’re glad to make these grants available to facilitate the important work of improving our urban environments.”

Since 1991, the TDA Division of Forestry has distributed more than $4 million in federal funding for urban forestry projects.

The Urban Forestry program is supported at the federal level by Tennessee’s congressional delegation and local grants are supported by members of the Tennessee General Assembly.

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