Programs

2021–2023 Urban and Community Forestry Grant

Grant funding is available for local units of government in Illinois.

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The Morton Arboretum administers a program to offer urban and community forestry grants.

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. Funding is available for local units of government in Illinois, including municipalities, townships, county governments, tribal governments, forest preserves, conservation districts, and park districts.

Grant awards are typically available for a minimum of $3,500 and a maximum of $15,000. Awardees are required to provide a 100% 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.

Project categories funded through this proposal can be funded as an individual project or in combination. They include:

  • Completion of a full or partial tree inventory;
  • Development of an urban/community forest management plan based on an existing tree inventory less than four years old;
  • Tree planting on public property.

Municipalities are required to pass a tree preservation and protection ordinance before the end of the grant period. This ordinance must meet minimum requirements, as outlined in the RFP below. 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 and 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).

2021–2023 Urban and Community Forestry Grant

Grant funding for the 2021-2023 grant cycle has been awarded to local units of government in Illinois.

Applications for the grant are currently closed. Watch for more information on future grants.

The Morton Arboretum is administering this grant program with funding provided by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service through direction of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Urban and Community Forestry Program to offer urban and community forestry grants. 

Grant awards of up to$15,000 have been awarded to 15 Illinois communities. Congratulations to the following communities for successful applications!

  • City of Chicago Heights
  • City of Evanston 
  • City of Naperville 
  • City of Oregon
  • Freeport Park District
  • Village of Bartlett
  • Village of Bensenville
  • Village of Franklin Park
  • Village of Huntley
  • Village of Indian Head Park 
  • Village of Lake Zurich
  • Village of Peotone
  • Village of South Barrington 
  • Village of Wilmette 
  • Village of Woodridge 

Project categories funded include:

  • Completion of a full or partial tree inventory 
  • Development of an urban/community forest management plan based on an existing tree inventory less than four years old
  • Tree planting on public property.

Awardees are required to provide a 100% match to their grant funds. Municipalities are required to pass a tree preservation and protection ordinance before the end of the grant period. This ordinance must meet minimum requirements, as outlined in the RFP below. Assistance to complete this requirement will be provided by The Morton Arboretum at no charge. 

Park districts and forest preserves are required to pass similar board-approved policies to protect and preserve their trees.

Download these two documents to apply. The RFP provides critical information and instructions:

The 2021-23 grant period has recently been finalized and news about future grant cycles will be made available as soon as possible.

Those seeking future grant funding should look at the following two documents for critical information and instructions: