Communities and organizations across Nebraska that desire to plant more shade trees should apply for Trees for Nebraska Towns grant funds by Oct. 1.
The program, which focuses on plant diversity and sustainable landscapes, provides grant funding and technical assistance to public-oriented projects that emphasize the planting of large-maturing trees in Nebraska communities. About $250,000 of TNT grant funds are available this year.
Kendal Weyers, grant coordinator says that over the last few decades, community forests in Nebraska have lost 30 to 50% of their tree canopy to disease, insects, extreme weather, old age, development and human neglect.
TNT funds aim to replace these lost trees and the many benefits they provide.
"The positive impacts of trees go far beyond shade to a wide range of economic, environmental, aesthetic and social benefits," Weyers adds.
TNT funding, provided by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, is coordinated by the Nebraska Forest Service and is part of ReTree Nebraska's 10-year effort to plant 1 million trees by 2017.
To be eligible, projects must provide clear public benefit and be located within or near the incorporated limits of a Nebraska community. Typical planting sites include but are not limited to street trees, parks, schools, college campuses, libraries, courthouses, fairgrounds and cemeteries.
Funds are not available for private individuals or homeowners.
For individuals interested in coordinating a neighborhood-wide tree planting project, Weyers suggests working through a neighborhood association or other local organization to apply for a TNT grant.
The application, due Oct. 1, requires some advance planning and consideration so applicants are encouraged to begin the process early. The application is available online at email@example.com. For more information, contact Kendall Weyers at 402-472-6693 or firstname.lastname@example.org.