2018-07-11 / Outdoor Life

Grant Funding for Trees for Tributaries

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced $525,000 in grant funding to improve water quality and increase resiliency. This is the first round of statewide competitive grants for the Trees for Tributaries program.

The program is designed to support riparian tree planting projects for communities throughout the state, and the funding will allow trees and shrubs along streams to improve wildlife habitat, water quality and storm resiliency.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos remarked, “Streamside plantings are critically important for stabilizing streambanks, decreasing erosion, slowing flood waters and protecting water infrastructure.” He also noted that DEC and its partners have planted more than 112,000 trees along streams.

The grant funding is supported by the state’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and is available to municipalities, academic institutions and not-for-profits. Projects must involve planting native trees and shrubs along steams, and projects must occur within eligible funding locations.

Grants range from a minimum of $11,000 to a maximum of $100,000. Priority will be given to projects that engage community partners and volunteers in tree planting activities, as well as those that create a stream buffer with of 35 feet or more.

The state budget for 2017-18 includes $300 million for the EPF, a record amount. The funding supports state land stewardship, agriculture programs, invasive species prevention and eradication, water quality, municipal recycling and an aggressive environmental justice agenda. In addition, the EPF is establishing new programs to help communities adapt to climate change, through resiliency planning and capital projects, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Applications are due by 3 p.m. on Sept. 7. All grant applicants are required to register in the state Grants Gateway system before applying. Non-for-profits are required to “prequalify” in the system, so it is recommended that the process be started well in advance of the grant application due date.

A “how to” webinar is schedule on Wednesday, July 25 at 10 a.m. to educate potential applicants on the grants process. Visit the Trees for Tributaries grant program webpage for details.

General questions about the Trees for Tributaries grants application process may be directed to Mary Hegarty, DEC’s program coordinator at NYS DEC, 625 Broadway, Albany NY 12233-4250 or

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