GFC’s Urban and Community Forestry Program (U&CF) provides technical support to cities, counties, elementary schools, college campuses, home owners and nonprofit organizations.
With funding provided by the US Forest Service, GFC assists communities with:
- Tree board development
- Tree ordinance revision
- Becoming a Tree City USA, Tree Campus USA, or Tree Line USA
- Storm resiliency planning and recovery
- Tree care training
- Arbor Day programs
- I – Tree analyses
With funding provided by USDA Forest Service, GFC’s Urban and Community Forestry program is also able to offer programs that provide financial assistance to encourage projects that plant trees and increase the benefits of tree canopy, create and support long-term and sustained urban and community forestry programs, and promote the care of trees in communities throughout Georgia with emphasis on disadvantaged communities.
In partnership with the Georgia Tree Council, the Georgia ReLeaf grant program offers up to $15,000 in funding for projects involving tree planting on public property and/or distribution of small containerized trees to area residents. Projects must contribute to tree equity, improve environmental benefits, or mitigate urban heat islands and must be completed by March 31, 2024. Projects that provide 100% of the benefits to disadvantaged communities will be eligible for a match waiver. Applications are due August 31, 2024.
Trees Across Georgia (TAG) – Projects involving urban forest and greenspace planning, tree inventories, tree planting, workforce development, heat island mitigation, urban forestry staffing, storm recovery/resiliency, urban wood utilization, etc. may be eligible for up to $300K each year for 4 years if providing benefits to disadvantaged communities. Projects that provide 100% of the benefits to disadvantaged communities may be eligible for a match waiver. Applications are due September 27, 2023.
Making the Shade Grant Program – Provides up to $5,000 in funding to plant trees to create healthier, shaded playground areas on elementary school campuses. This funding is available to elementary schools, PTAs, and community groups.
GFC’s U&CF program also works with the Green Infrastructure Center to assist cities, towns, universities, and regional commissions in providing technical support with mapping, tree inventories, code audits, and management plans. Support may also be available for staffing and other projects.
The care, management, and expansion of healthy urban trees require a suite of tools that many communities need.
Please click the tabs below for more information to consider:
- Where are trees abundant, scarce, healthy, unhealthy, or damaged?
- Is our community gaining or losing our tree cover, and at what rate? Should we be concerned
- How can we justify spending the right amount to ensure a healthy urban forest?
- How much should we plant today, tomorrow, and over the next decade to have a robust tree canopy?
- What are trees contributing to clean air, climate mitigation, urban heat reduction, and stormwater uptake?
- Are trees equitably distributed regardless of race or income? If inequitable, how can this be changed?
- Are trees at risk of failure or areas that are storm damaged or could be in the future?
- Are trees in parks, schools, city plazas, and main streets need replacement or care to ensure future shade?
- How much does our community need to spend to ensure trees last long into the future?
- Are we losing trees due to poor codes (inadequate standards for tree sites, planting or care, outdated tree lists), and are we losing open space due to excessive requirements (for parking, streets, and other codes) that take away open space?
- What new codes, standards, and practices will make our city less paved and greener while still accommodating growth?
- What essential elements should we include to update our codes or adopt new ones?
- Where are trees needed most urgently?
- How can we budget for tree needs and integrate better tree care across city agencies?
- What equipment and personnel do we need now and into the future?
- Are we prepared for storms and tree damage (preparation, response, cleanup)?
- What timeframe and actionable goals are needed to manage the forest and trees effectively and efficiently?
If you need help with any of the above, consider applying for technical support assistance or the Trees Across Georgia (TAG) grant program from the GA Forestry Commission.