Urban and Community Forestry Program
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Washington State Urban and Community Forestry Program

The Washington State Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) Program provides technical, educational and financial assistance to Washington’s cities and towns, counties, non-profit organizations, and associations. Learn more.

View the latest issue of Tree Link Newsletter.

Tree City USA

The Washington State Arbor Day is always celebrated on the second Wednesday in April. 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 urban_forestry@dnr.wa.gov.

Financial Assistance

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:

The 2016 Urban Forestry Grant Writing Webinar can be downloaded for viewing by clicking this link.

  • Community Forestry Assistance (CFA) Grants (download the RFP and Grant Application)
    • Acceptable projects should focus on urban forestry program development or innovative programs that educate staff, the public and decision-makers about the benefits of trees and/or proper tree care and management. Examples include but are not limited to: developing urban forestry management plans, tree ordinances, policy manuals, tree canopy analyses, website development, and curriculum development. Match (in-kind or financial) is required.
  • Tree Inventory Grants (download the RFP and Grant Application)
    • Tree inventories are a critical tool for urban forest management. A public tree inventory will be performed on behalf of successful applicant communities by a qualified consultant through a contractual agreement with DNR.  No money changes hands, however a Memorandum of Understanding between DNR and successful applicants is required. Successful communities must provide a report that describes an expected course of action toward community forest management to UCF within one year of receiving the inventory data.
  • Tree Planting Grants (download the RFP and Grant Application)
    • These grants are only available to communities who have earned the Tree City USA Award, as this designation is a minimum measure of cities’ capacity, expertise, and commitment to ensure that trees are properly planted and cared for. A 3-year maintenance plan and planting inspections by an ISA Certified Arborist are required. Match (in-kind or financial) is required.
  • 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.
  • Scholarships*
    • Professional scholarships may occasionally be made available for our constituents to attend local, regional, or national conferences, workshops, seminars, or training classes.
  • Internships*
    • 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 urban_forestry@dnr.wa.gov.

DNR Urban Forestry Technical Assistance

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 1-800-523-8733 or inquire by email at urban_forestry@dnr.wa.gov.

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.

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.

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.


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:
USDA, Director
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.