March 1, 2004 Do you have a program that teaches individuals about native trees and proper natural resource practices? Would you like to start one? Are you going to be planting any trees to prevent soil erosion? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you should apply for a 2004 Challenge Cost-Share Program grant from the Agriculture Department. The application deadline is April 2.
"They're available for anything that basically deals with trees," said Michael Franklin, who serves as the Agriculture Department's Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator.
Agriculture Commissioner Lawrence Lewis said in a news release that the program's goal is to encourage citizen involvement in creating and supporting long-term and sustainable forestry programs.
Lewis said the projects cover the conservation of existing native species as well as the establishment, maintenance and protection of trees, green spaces and related natural resources within urban settings.
The grants are federally funded through the Agriculture Department's Urban and Community Forestry Program.
Franklin said there are no limits on the amount of the grant, but most have been for anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000.
The grants have been awarded to individuals, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood associations, territorial government agencies, and educational institutions.
Franklin said the department each year gives out about 10 of the grants.
Call Franklin at 778-0997, extension 233, for an application or visit the program's Web site.
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