The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture’s Urban and Community Forestry (U&CF) Assistance Program has announced the availability of grant funding for the 2012 Challenge Cost-Share program, an effort that encourages citizen involvement in urban and community forestry projects throughout the territory. As part of the initiative, V.I. organizations and agencies may apply for grants up to $20,000.
Commissioner of Agriculture Louis E. Petersen Jr. Ph.D. said, "The Department of Agriculture continues to encourage public participation in the Urban and Community Forestry Projects, especially new and first time applicants. This initiative infuses federal funds into our economy while enhancing our environment and quality of life."
The VIDOA 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. Note: The U&CF Program does not fund strictly agricultural projects. Projects must have a forestry component to be eligible for funding.
Matches may be met through in-kind donations and volunteer time. The deadline for proposal submissions for this grant cycle is Monday, May 7.
Agriculture is looking for projects in the following areas: education and public outreach about urban forests; protecting and publicizing heritage and remarkable big trees; reducing 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 management plans for developed areas with urban forests; and writing tree guidelines for communities.
For more information, visit the Department of Agriculture Web site, www.vifresh.com and click on “Forestry.” Go to the Urban and Community Forestry section or contact Marilyn Chakroff, Urban and Community Forestry Program coordinator, at 778-0997 ext. 233. She is available to help with writing proposals and with identifying the types of projects that may be funded.