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Michigan communities, schools, nonprofits and groups that want to boost their green spaces can apply for up to $20,000 in grants from the state, officials announced Monday.

The 2018-19 Urban and Community Forestry grants can be used for purposes including
urban-forest management; planning and innovation projects; arborist training; education events; materials; and Arbor Day celebrations and materials, the state Department of Natural Resources said.

 “The focus of this year’s grant program is to support projects that help local communities better manage their urban and community forestry resources,” said Kevin Sayers, urban and community forestry program coordinator. "In urban landscapes, trees provide welcome shade, can help cool streets and provide habitat for wildlife. They also can help homeowners increase property values and save on energy costs."

The grants, which are funded through the U.S. Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry Program, require a one-to-one match through cash contributions or in-kind services.

Grant applications must be postmarked by Sept. 21, and projects that receive funding must be completed by Sept. 1, 2019.

For information, go to michigan.gov/ucf, call (517) 284-5898 or write to DNR Forest Resources Division, P.O. Box 30452, Lansing, MI 48909-7952.

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