CANTON — Coinciding with Arbor Day, the state Department of Environmental Conservation on Friday announced $1.18 million in Urban and Community Forestry funding for publicly maintained trees, including those in Canton.
The village will see $32,000 and was the only north country community to receive an award through the second phase of the Division of Lands and Forests’ latest grant round for the Urban and Community Forestry Program. The state has issued more than $12.6 million in UCF grants over the last nine years, with this 15th round of funding being bolstered by a second phase of available funds.
Combined with the first phase of the 15th round, a total of $2.6 million is being awarded for 64 projects across the state. From 154 applications, the projects were selected based on cost effectiveness, community benefits, use of partnerships, inclusion of related education and local support, according to the DEC.
Announced in December, the phase one awards included four north country communities: $12,800 for a tree inventory and management plan in the village of Saranac Lake; $13,500 for a tree inventory and management plan in the village of Malone; $50,000 for tree maintenance in the city of Watertown; and $14,000 for a management plan in the village of Canton.
Canton’s first $14,000 will support the development of a Community Forest Management Plan to outline annual tree maintenance practices, long-term protections and a response to potential emerald ash borer infestations.
The invasive EAB larvae feed underneath ash tree bark and can decimate infested ash stands. All but seven of New York’s 62 counties have confirmed infestations of EAB as of fall, the DEC reports. Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties have confirmed infestations; Lewis County has not.
The village Tree Committee also intends to include planting details in its management plan for the Route 11 gateway to downtown between the entrance to St. Lawrence Health System’s Medical Campus and St. Lawrence University. Planting is at least a year away and will need to be approved by the state Department of Transportation with property owner input, Tree Committee Chair Richard W. Grover said.
The $32,000 phase-two grant will support new tree planting and maintenance at Canton Village Park. Both the management plan and maintenance projects will require professional service agreements with arborists.
“These projects will usher in a new era of care and enhancement of the public landscape, which enhances property values and makes our community more attractive for local residents, businesses, workers and people just passing through,” Mr. Grover said in a statement this week. “Our soils will be better protected from storms, which will in turn protect water quality in the Grasse River and its tributaries. New trees will provide shelter, food and nesting sites for resident and migratory birds. Our climate will be more hospitable, and our streets and sidewalks more free of potential tree-related safety hazards.”
Those interested in getting involved with the Tree Committee and its projects should contact Jeni Reed, assistant for the Economic Development Office, at email@example.com or 315-386-2871 ext. 6.