02-27-17 Colorado Cities to Get 500+ New Trees in 2017 Thanks to $35K in Grants

ctc-colorado-tree-coalition-logoColorado Cities to Get 500+ New Trees in 2017 Thanks to $35K in Grants

BROOMFIELD, CO – The Colorado Tree Coalition (CTC) is awarding nearly $35,000 in grants to eleven Colorado communities and organizations to help fund the planting of more than 500 new community trees in 2017. A diverse array of tree planting, maintenance and education projects are receiving funding. Communities receiving grants include Grand Junction, Durango, Alamosa, Aurora, South Suburban Parks & Recreation District, Monte Vista and Pueblo.

One project receiving funding this year is Durango’s Mountain Middle School’s, “Trees are the answer!” project. This project will help encourage and educate future generations on the principles of planting, nurturing and sustaining a healthy tree population. Durango’s Mountain Middle School is focused on two areas of the campus that are void of all trees.

Another organization receiving 2017 funding is the City of Pueblo Parks and Recreation Department. They will receive $2,000 for their Municipal Tree Nursery Project. The purpose of the project is to strengthen community ties and partnerships with the City of Pueblo’s Urban Forestry Program. Additionally, Pueblo Parks and Recreation will work with a local non-profit organization, Tree’s Please, in two ways. First, Tree’s Please and the City of Pueblo will create a CityWide Tree Board. Secondly, the project will initiate a tree nursery to provide trees for future planting projects in the City of Pueblo.

While grant recipient projects vary, a few will add trees to parks, trails, schools, and downtown areas. Many will also focus on countering the threat posed by emerald ash borer (EAB), a non-native pest discovered in Boulder, CO, in 2013. EAB attacks and kills ash trees, which make up about 15% of the state’s urban trees. Grant-funded EAB projects this year will plant native and diverse trees beneath existing ash, preparing for their likely eventual decline as EAB spreads across the state.

Each year, the CTC awards thousands in grant money to Colorado communities to help preserve, renew, and enhance one of Colorado’s most valuable resources: its urban forest. Aside from aesthetic benefits, urban trees protect the air and water from pollution, save energy by shielding homes from summer sun and winter wind, increase property values, and improve the economic viability of commercial areas.

The Colorado Tree Coalition awarded nearly $50,000 to 17 organizations in 2016. Along with matching funds provided by the grant recipients this helped plant more than 360 trees in communities across Colorado. Each of these projects allowed residents the opportunity to make a difference in their community with a combined total of 3,117 hours of volunteer service. CTC grants are made possible through the support of the USDA Forest Service, the Colorado State Forest Service, Xcel Energy Foundation, Xcel Energy Vegetation Management, Colorado Public Radio and other private donors, and our Colorado Tree Coalition members and supporters. Since 1991 the Colorado Tree Coalition has awarded 501 grants totaling over $844,000. These grants have been matched with over $7.8 million in community money and/or time. As a result of these grants over 74,110 trees have been planted throughout the state.

The Colorado Tree Coalition is a volunteer-driven non-profit organization leading statewide efforts to preserve, renew and enhance community forests. Programs administered by the CTC include, among many others: Trees Across Colorado, ReForest Colorado, the Select Tree Evaluation Program, and the 5th Grade Poster Contest. Learn more about Colorado Tree Coalition programs.

Visit http://www.coloradotrees.org/about_us.php to learn more about the Colorado Tree Coalition

Submitted to The BARN by:

Karen Duez, Colorado Tree Coalition, ktduez@msn.com