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Streamside Tree-Planting Grants Available Through DCNR

Monday October 9th, 2017
Townships that would like to improve stream buffers may apply for some of the $1 million in PENNVEST-funded grants that are being made available to assist landowners with planting trees along streams in Pennsylvania to improve water quality. The grant application period also includes $250,000 for trails and projects related to the use of snowmobiles and ATVs. The grants are available through the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Community Conservation Partnership Program, or C2P2, funding. The application period for these grants closes December 20.
 
Pennsylvania has a goal of planting 95,000 acres of streamside buffers by 2025.
 
To expand on the existing streamside buffer options for landowners, DCNR is piloting a multi-functional buffer option that is eligible for these grant dollars to provide greater flexibility in landowner eligibility, buffer designs, widths, plant species and offer the option of planting some income-producing crops in the buffer zone. For the PENNVEST-funded grants, multi-functional buffers are preferred but not required.
  
Individual landowners, businesses, non-profits, local government, and educational institutions are all eligible for the buffer grants, but must be prequalified. Information about how to prequalify is available online on the DCNR grant portal. 
 
Funding for snowmobile/ATV projects is through the ATV Management Restricted Account and the Snowmobile Management Restricted Account as authorized by Act 97 of 2016. The accounts are supported by registration fees.
 
Trail projects include acquisition, planning, development, rehabilitation, or maintenance of designated routes on land for motorized recreation activities. This includes the purchase of equipment for trail construction or maintenance.
 
DCNR Bureau of Forestry service foresters located in each of the 20 forest districts statewide can assist landowners with information about planting forest buffers.
 
Forest buffers along stream banks provide critical barriers between polluting landscapes and receiving waterways. Properly planted and maintained, streamside tree and shrub plantings filter the runoff of sediments and the fertilizers that are applied to lawns and crops; control erosion; improve water quality; reduce flooding; cool stream temperatures; and improve fish habitat.
 
Interested applicants should visit the DCNR grant portal.