FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection announced 15 urban forestry grants, including $12,000 for Fairfield and five other towns that are developing a GIS-based tree canopy cover map.
The DEEP forestry grants aim "to encourage tree planting and tree management best practices in communities across the state," according to a press release. DEEP also designated 19 communities as a Tree City USA for their commitment to tree care during the past year.
The Greater Bridgeport Regional Council, which includes Bridgeport, Stratford, Fairfield, Monroe, Trumbull and Shelton, is receiving a $12,000 grant for the Regional Urban Tree Canopy and Assessment.
"Six towns are joining together to develop a GIS-based urban tree canopy cover map and then analyze the findings," said the press release.
Grants were awarded to Bridgeport, Essex, Farmington, Glastonbury, Hartford, New Britain, North Canaan, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Stratford, Waterford and West Haven.
“Through these grants we are encouraging scenic beauty and healthy eco-systems in our communities,” said DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee. “These grants also support the work and recommendations of the state Vegetative Management Task Force and Governor Malloy’s Two Storm Panel by ensuring that we plant the ‘right trees’ in the ‘right places,’ that urban trees are properly pruned and managed, and that we continue to provide a foundation for coordination and communication among local tree wardens, residents, and the electric utility companies.”
The following communities received the Tree City USA Designation: Branford, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury, East Hartford, Fairfield, Groton, Hartford, Middletown, Monroe, New Canaan, New Haven, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Southbury, Stamford, West Haven, Wethersfield and Wilton.
Stamford and Fairfield have been Tree Cities USA the longest, each having been so designated for 26 years.
“The standards of Tree City and Tree Campus USA set a high bar. We are pleased that we have communities that have been able to demonstrate their strong commitment to urban trees and the improvement in the quality of life that trees bring,” said Chris Martin, DEEP’s Director of Forestry.