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$1 million in grants available from DNR to communities to address emerald ash borer

Communities working to manage and reduce the impacts of emerald ash borer across Minnesota can apply for $1 million in shade tree program grants through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The application period is open through March 22. All Minnesota cities, counties and townships, as well as park and recreation boards in cities with more than 100,000 residents, are eligible to apply, according to a press release.

Grant-eligible activities include removing ash trees and replanting new trees on public land to establish more diverse and resilient shade tree cover. Priority will be given to projects to remove and replace ash trees, especially those posing a serious public safety concern, in areas with a known emerald ash borer infestation. Priority will also be given to projects that benefit underserved populations and advance environmental justice.

“Minnesota’s local governments play a key role in creating climate-adapted, diverse community forests that are better able to withstand disease and forest pests,” said Emma Schultz, community forest project specialist. “The DNR is pleased to offer this grant opportunity to assist local governments in this important effort.”

Schultz also noted the importance of ensuring underserved communities share in the benefits that community forests provide — from access to open space, recreational opportunities and greater protection of air and water quality.

Application procedures, including the request for applications and application form, are available online. Applicants will be notified by April 12 as to whether they have been awarded a grant. For more information, contact the DNR Community Forestry Grants Team at ucf.dnr@state.mn.us.