Several northern Wisconsin communities and organizations have received funding for urban forestry from the Department of Natural Resources.
Weston, Kronenwetter, Hurley and the village of Biron were among 45 municipalities that will share $560,680 from the DNR. Urban Forestry projects undertaken include tree inventories and assessments, management plans, emerald ash borer preparedness plans, urban forest restoration projects, and other urban forestry efforts.
This year the program encouraged communities to apply for grants to bolster their preparedness for emerald ash borer, a non-native insect that bores into ash trees and can kill the trees within a few years.
Emerald ash borer was found for the first time in Wisconsin in August 2008 in Washington County and has since been identified in 13 additional counties. Wisconsin has 5.2 million ash trees in urban areas, and all are at heightened risk since EAB was confirmed in Wisconsin.
Paul DeLong chief state forestrer says, “The urban forestry grants provide critical support for EAB early planning efforts that include forecasting budgets for labor, equipment, staff training and restoration.”
A start-up grant of up to $5,000 is available for communities that want to start or restart an urban forestry program. The DNR awarded 18 start-up grants for 2013.