Grant funding is available for the 2011 Challenge Cost-Share Program. Organizations and agencies in the U.S. Virgin Islands may apply for grants up to $20,000, according to a press release issued Friday by The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture’s Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF) Assistance Program.
“Twice each year in May and November, the U&CF Program accepts proposals for forestry projects that encourage citizen involvement territory-wide. Over the years, the grant-awarded projects have provided educational as well as data-driven management recommendations, enabling greater stewardship of the territory’s forests in both urban and residential areas. I am pleased to announce this request for proposals and especially encourage new applicants or new community-based groups and organizations to apply,” Agriculture Commissioner Louis E. Petersen Jr. said.
Grant awards will be made on a competitive basis, and require a 1-to-1 match to the amount requested; matches may be met through in-kind donations and volunteer time. The deadline for proposal submissions for this grant cycle is Monday, Nov. 7.
The program seeks proposals for project funding from local government, nonprofit organizations, civic and/or educational organizations, including but not limited to schools, homeowners’ associations, service clubs and environmental organizations. The U&CF Program does not fund strictly agricultural projects. Projects must have a forestry component to be eligible for funding.
Proposals are requested in the following areas: education and public outreach on urban forestry; protecting and publicizing heritage and remarkable big trees; reducing forest health risks due to invasive species; identifying and managing hazardous trees; collecting data on wildlife use of urban forests; planning for and planting urban trees; training to become arborists; developing and implementing forest management plans for developed areas with urban forests; and writing tree guidelines for communities.
For additional information, visit the Department of Agriculture Web site at www.vifresh.com and click on “Forestry.” Go to the Urban and Community Forestry section for more information about the U&CF Program or to find an application packet, or call Marilyn Chakroff, Urban and Community Forestry Program coordinator, at 778-0997 ext. 233. Chakroff is available to help with writing proposals and with identifying the types of projects that may be funded.