The Morton Arboretum administers a program to offer urban and community forestry grants.
Funding is available for local units of government in Illinois, including municipalities, townships, county governments, tribal governments, forest preserves, conservation districts, and park districts. The funding is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service through the direction of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Urban and Community Forestry Program.
Grant awards are typically available for a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $25,000.
Projects funded through this proposal may include one of the following:
- An urban forest management plan based on a digital and current tree inventory;
- An inventory of public trees in the community and an urban forest management plan that addresses some portion of the results;
- Development or enhancement of a tree preservation ordinance without an additional project component, or;
- Tree planting on public property.
Awardees are required to provide a 1:1 match to their grant funds. For example, a recipient requesting $10,000 of funding is required to provide a cash or in-kind match of $10,000 for a total project cost of $20,000.
All funded projects must include the development or enhancement of a tree preservation ordinance to meet the standard set in the RFP. Municipalities are required to pass a tree preservation / protection ordinance before the end of the grant period. This ordinance must meet minimum requirements, as outlined in the RFP. Assistance to complete this requirement will be provided by The Morton Arboretum at no charge. Some municipalities with existing ordinances may already meet this requirement.
Park districts and forest preserves are required to pass similar board-approved policies to protect and preserve their trees.
The Morton Arboretum will provide assistance to any community seeking to pass or improve their tree preservation/ protection ordinance, regardless of participation in the grant program.
Funding for this grant program is contingent on a final agreement with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (pending).
Applications are due Friday, October 7th, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. and the grant period ends August 1, 2024.