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Urban and Community Forestry Program


DEM Division of Forest Environment, in cooperation with the United States Forest Service, is pleased to announce its cost share grants program, American the Beautiful Tree Rhode Island 2020. The purpose of the program is to assist communities develop sustainable forestry programs.

Elements of a sustainable community forestry program:

  • Knowledge of the condition of the community forest – which trees need to be removed, which trees need maintenance, where are the empty spaces which need to be planted.
  • A comprehensive plan developed with a timeline for removals, maintenance, and planting.
  • A municipal budget established to implement the plan.

Instructions for Applications:

  • The required narrative must outline how your proposed project is part of a long-term planned approach for a sustainable community forestry program. You must articulate how the project fits into a total tree management plan for your community. See attached application for specific details
  • The application deadline is: received at the DFE office by 4:00 pm, April 30, 2020
  • Application must include: a completed application form with budget information, timeline, certification, and appropriate attachments. Submit original and 7 copies to:
    Robert Allard, Coordinator
    Urban & Community Forestry Program
    RI Department of Environmental Management
    235 Promenade Street, Suite 394
    Providence, Rhode Island 02908

The primary goal of America the Beautiful - Tree Rhode Island is to provide funds to assist in the establishment or extension of comprehensive community forestry programs. Tree planting projects that are presented without regard to creating or developing a sustainable community forestry program will not be considered for an award. Please see the application for information on eligible projects.

If you have any questions, please call 222-2445 ext. 2056 between the hours of 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM from Monday through Friday.

Urban forestry is the careful and purposeful management of urban forests, i.e., tree populations in urban settings for the purpose of improving the urban environment. An urban forest is a collection of trees (and related plants and natural resources) in a community including street and yard trees, park trees, and those in newly expanding suburbs.

Urban forests differ from rural forests in that the growth and development of tree cover is limited by city structures rather than forest succession and competition with other trees.

Urban forests provide a multitude of benefits to residents of communities. Ecological benefits include water quality, soil conservation, air quality, and wildlife habitat. Trees give a sense of pride to communities and bring people together for planting, care, and recreation. Other benefits include aesthetic improvement, and public health and welfare.

Urban forestry advocates the role of trees as a critical part of the urban infrastructure. Urban foresters plant and maintain trees, support appropriate tree and forest preservation, conduct research and promote the many benefits trees provide. Urban forestry is practiced by municipal and commercial arborists, municipal and utility foresters, environmental policymakers, city planners, consultants, educators, researchers and community activists.

Major functions of the Urban and Community Forestry Program include arborist examinations and workshops, administration of the America the Beautiful Grants, Tree City U.S.A., and Arbor Day Programs, public outreach, and to carry out the state Urban and Community Forestry Program annual work plan.