The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture, Urban & Community Forestry (U&CF) Assistance Program announces the availability of grants for the 2014 urban forestry program. Organizations and agencies in the US Virgin Islands may apply for grants of up to $20,000. Grants require a 1-to-1 match to the amount requested; however, matches usually can be met through in-kind donations and volunteer time. Grant awards will be made on a competitive basis. The deadline for proposal submissions for this grant cycle is Monday, November 3, 2014. Proposals may be mailed or delivered to the Department of Agriculture offices on St. Croix, St. Thomas, or St. John, or, preferably, emailed.
The U&CF Program is designed to encourage citizen involvement in urban and community forestry projects throughout the Territory. The Program seeks proposals for project funding from local government, nonprofit organizations, civic and/or educational organizations, including but not limited to schools, churches, homeowners’ associations, service clubs, and environmental organizations. NOTE: The U&CF Program does NOT fund strictly agricultural projects. Projects must have a forestry component to be eligible for funding.

The Department of Agriculture is looking for projects in the following areas: education and public outreach about urban forests; protecting and publicizing heritage and remarkable big trees; reducing health risks due to invasive species; identifying and managing hazardous trees; collecting data on wildlife use of urban forests; planning for and planting urban trees; training to become arborists; developing and implementing management plans for developed areas with urban forests; and writing tree guidelines for communities.
Please visit the Department of Agriculture website, www.vifresh.org and click on Forestry. Go to the Urban and Community Forestry section for more information about the U&CF Program, and to view an application packet, or call Marilyn Chakroff, Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator, at 778-0997 ext. 233. Ms. Chakroff is available to help with writing proposals and with identifying the types of projects that may be funded. Proposals may be submitted to Ms. Chakroff via email at marilyn.chakroff@gmail.com.