Washington State Urban and Community Forestry Program
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Urban and Community Forestry in Washington (About us)
DNR Urban and Community Forestry Program
- The Washington State Urban and Community Forestry Program works to educate citizens and decision-makers about the economic, environmental, psychological and aesthetic benefits of trees and to assist local governments, citizen groups and volunteers in planting and sustaining healthy trees and vegetation wherever people live and work in Washington State. Our mission is to provide leadership to create self-sustaining urban and community forestry programs that preserve, plant and manage forests and trees for public benefits and quality of life.
- Washington Community Forestry Council
The Washington Community Forestry Council advises the Department of Natural Resources on policies and programs related to community and urban forestry.
Nominate our next award winner! The Council would like to recognize exceptional leadership, creativity, cooperation and stewardship toward the goals of urban and community forestry in Washington by encouraging nomination of individuals, organizations, community groups, and businesses for a Council award.
- Evergreen Communities Act
The Evergreen Communities Act (ECA) was passed by the Washington State Legislature in April, 2008 with support from a coalition of several state agencies, non-profit organizations, utility companies, and other stakeholders. Provisions of the Act provided funding to the State Department of Commerce to develop "A Guide to Community & Urban Forestry Programming" and to the State Department of Natural Resources to develop standards for collecting municipal tree data. The U.S. financial crisis of 2009 led to a defunding of the ECA however the language remains in effect and the DNR Urban and Community Forestry Program strives to uphold the spirit of the ECA through its on-going work with communities of the State.
Arbor Day and Tree City
The Washington State Arbor Day is always celebrated on the second Wednesday in April. Read Governor Inslee’s proclamation for 2017 here. Did you know that proclaiming Arbor Day at the local level can help your community earn the Tree City USA designation? Recognizing Arbor Day is one of four requirements for earning this award. To date, 86 Washington cities and towns are recognized as a Tree City USA.
Washington communities that have earned the Tree City USA award are once again eligible for reimbursement by DNR for the planting of an Arbor Day tree or trees. This year, we have bumped the value of the reimbursements from $200 up to $500 so that all Tree City USA communities have the opportunity to plant at least one landscape-sized tree on Arbor Day. Interested Tree City communities are advised to download the reimbursement form and follow the instructions.
If your Tree City USA Community would like to have a representative from DNR or the Washington Community Forestry Council attend your Arbor Day Event or a City Council meeting to present your Tree City USA Award, please complete this form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DNR Urban and Community Forestry Program offers financial assistance to cities, towns, counties, tribal governments, educational institutions, and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations in Washington State.
All forms of financial assistance, their availability in a given year, and their associated dollar amounts are dependent on continued funding through annual grant allocations from the USDA Forest Service. In addition, the nature and timing of the application processes are subject to change from year to year.
The following is an overview of our financial assistance programs in more detail:
Community Forestry Assistance (CFA) Grants (download the RFP)
Community Forestry Assistance grants provide financial assistance to help develop powerful, sustainable urban forestry programs. The intent of this grant is to assist communities to develop urban forest planning and programming tools and activities that may not otherwise receive local funding.
Community Forestry Assistance Grants are available to tribal governments, educational institutions, and local governments such as cities, towns, and counties in Washington State.
- Tree City USA Tree Planting & Maintenance Grants (download the RFP)
Tree City USA Tree Planting and Maintenance Grants support communities working to improve and enhance tree canopy cover as a component of a comprehensive urban and community forestry management program.
List of resources for current grantees and a list of urban forestry grant recipients for 2014-2017
- Arbor Day Tree Reimbursements (download the Reimbursement Form)
Communities who have earned the Tree City USA designation can be reimbursed for the costs, or a portion thereof, associated with planting landscape-sized trees at their annual Arbor Day celebration. Some restrictions apply. Documentation of costs and activities is required. Match (in-kind or financial) is required.
- Landscape Scale Restoration Grant
LSR projects cross boundaries to affect any combination of federal, state, tribal, county, municipal, or private lands. Funding for LSR projects comes from the U.S. Forest Service State and Private Forestry branch to address forest conservation, protection, and enhancement needs in priority areas identified within Washington’s Forest Action Plan. Here is the Request for Proposal for LSR projects. These projects have a maximum grant request of $240,000.00
- Professional scholarships may occasionally be made available for our constituents to attend local, regional, or national conferences, workshops, seminars, or training classes.
- Internships may occasionally be made available for students pursuing studies or research projects in urban and community forestry in Washington.
Questions about scholarships, internships, or other forms of financial assistance may be directed to email@example.com.
- Community Tree Management Institute (CTMI)
CTMI is an intensive continuing education course designed for public employees that have tree-related responsibilities but who may not have formal training in urban forest management. CTMI is offered every other year. Tuition fees apply. To register for CTMI 2016 follow this link.
Register by April 29, 2016 and save $30.
- Regional Seminars
- Seminars are roughly 4 hours of professional presentations on topics relevant to urban forestry. Seminars are mostly indoors, free to participants and typically planned months in advance in partnership with host cities.
- On-site Staff Training
- Trainings are roughly 1-2 hours of instruction covering hands-on skills for tree care. These are available to program constituents by request as DNR staff schedules permit.
- Technology Transfer
- The Technology Transfer webpage contains a wealth of information on science, research and other topics relating to management and care of urban trees:
- Stop! Don't Top that tree
- The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is promoting an anti-tree topping campaign to increase public understanding of proper tree care. To find out more please see our Anti-Tree Topping Webpage
Urban and Community Forestry staff are available to provide technical assistance to 501(c)3 Non-profits, Tribes, Educational Institutions, and local units of government. Examples of technical assistance include: participating in the review, evaluation, and redrafting of tree ordinances; providing consultation on urban forestry strategies, plans, policies, and practices; helping city staff triage and prioritize program needs, providing training to field staff on topics of pruning, planting, or identification of tree defects; giving presentations to city councils, planning commissions, or civic organizations; and working with citizen tree boards or committees on improving effectiveness. Not sure if the needs of your city fit into any of these categories? Give us a call at firstname.lastname@example.org inquire by email at
Washington Community Forestry Council
Urban Forestry Restoration Project
The Urban Forestry Restoration Project is an exciting opportunity to increase the health of urban forests in the Puget Sound Basin. Healthy urban trees and forests provide greater stormwater management capacity which affects Puget Sound water quality improvement. Please visit the Urban Forestry Restoration page to learn more.
Federal Civil Rights
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, DNR does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. However, should a person wish to file a discrimination complaint, please write to:
Office of Civil Rights
Room 326-W, Whitten Building
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington D.C. 20250-9410
or call 202.720.5964 (voice and TDD).
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.