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Community Forestry Grants

2022 Arbor Day Grants available

The Alaska Community Forest Council shares the mission of the Alaska Community Forestry Program to help communities build effective, self-sustaining community forestry programs with strong local support. The Council has grants available to government agencies and non-profit organization to help celebrate Arbor Day in Alaska. This year, Arbor Day will be celebrated on May 16.

Grants are intended to help the meet this goal by funding projects that:

  1. Generate awareness of and participation in Arbor Day (officially May 16, 2022);
  2. Increase public awareness of the benefits of trees and forests and build support for planting and caring for public trees;
  3. Provide a public demonstration of the benefits of trees and/or proper tree selection, planting, and care;
  4. Use trees to solve community problems. Examples include: reduce or treat stormwater, create wind breaks or living snow fences, restore streams or rivers, plant fruit trees to provide healthy food, screen surfaces prone to graffiti, calm traffic, and beautify your schoolyard.


  • Applicant must be a government entity or nonprofit organization with IRS 501(C)3 status.
  • Applicants may apply for a grant of from $200 to $500. Approximately $3,000 is available for grants.
  • Grant funds may not be used for wages or benefits.
  • If trees and shrubs are planted with grant funds, follow practices described in Plant a Tree: Alaska's Guide to Tree Selection, Planting, & Care. See link below.
    Trees must:
    • Have a three-year, budgeted maintenance plan.
    • Be of high quality, appropriate for the site, and meet the American Standard for Nursery Stock 2014.
    • If you would like help writing specifications to ensure that you receive trees in excellent condition and form, please contact us.
  • Donations for Arbor Day Grants were provided to the Council from the Society of American Foresters Cook Inlet and Yukon River chapters and Paul's Tree Service. Any media (print, online etc.) or public event produced in association with this grant shall recognize the support of the Alaska Community Forest Council.


Complete an application ( Be creative and find ways to reach a large audience in your community.

Selection Criteria

  1. Quality, clarity and organization of project and budget.
  2. Extent to which project generates awareness of and participation in Arbor Day.
  3. Extent to which project increases public awareness of the benefits of trees and forests and builds support for planting and caring for public trees.
  4. Extent to which project demonstrates the benefits of trees and/or proper tree selection, planting, and care.
  5. Project's benefits to the community and its ability to solve a problem or meet a need.

Application Process

Complete the two-page application (link below). Application are accepted year round, and are reviewed quarterly beginning in March. The Alaska Community Forest Council and Community Forestry staff will review applications and grant awards will be announced after each of our quarterly meetings. Upon approval of the proposal, the council and grantee will sign a grant agreement.

For more information or assistance

Please call if you need help preparing your proposal. We can provide information to help you design a successful project, including Plant a Tree: Alaska's Guide to Tree Selection, Planting, and Care, online at

Information and publications are also available at

Alex Wenninger 907-786-6309

E-mail (preferred), mail, or deliver proposal to:
Alex Wenninger, council member, at or
Alaska Community Forest Council PO Box 241282
Anchorage, AK 99524

State forestry offers more "tree-vitalize" grants for Alaska schools

The Alaska Division of Forestry is offering a final round of grants to "tree-vitalize" school campuses across Alaska.

The Division's Community Forestry Program has grants for up to $10,000 for qualifying organizations to purchase trees, supplies, and materials for tree planting as schoolwide or classroom projects. The funding for the grants comes from the U.S. Forest Service.

"This is a great way for schools and other organizations to help beautify school campuses around the state", said Jim Renkert, Community Forestry Program Manager for the Division of Forestry. "It is a great way to teach students the importance of trees."

School, soil and water conservation districts, park foundations or other local non-profit organizations are encouraged to apply and sponsor spring, summer or fall tree planting events on school grounds. Tree plantings can also be done on nearby, non-federal public lands.

Projects should raise awareness about the benefits of trees and the many ecosystem values they provide. Proposals should demonstrate proper tree planting and care techniques.

Funding is limited and applications are only being accepted until the remaining funds are exhausted so organizations should apply as soon as possible. All complete applications received through April 30, 2022 will be evaluated and scored by a grant review committee in early May. Applications received May 1-31, 2022 will be evaluated and scored in early June if funds are still available.

Schools are encouraged to involve students in the grant application and planning process.

CONTACT: Josh Hightower, 907-269-8466, or Jim Renkert, 907-269-8465,

State forestry offers grants for projects to reduce water pollution

Organizations wanting to implement stormwater mitigation and green infrastructure projects in their communities can now apply for a grant from the Division of Forestry's Community Forestry Program (CFP) to help reduce pollution in natural water bodies.

With funding from the U.S. Forest Service, the CFP has grants for qualifying organizations for projects such as planting trees, building rain gardens and bioswales, installing permeable pavers building green roofs, or other projects that will help mitigate storm runoff.

"The goal is to increase resilience due to extreme weather events and filter and remove pollutants that would otherwise enter natural water bodies," said CFP manager Jim Renkert. "These projects will help make our streams, lakes and ponds cleaner, which will improve fish, plant and wildlife habitat."

Organizations may apply for up to $15,000 to fund these projects. The CFP will distribute a total of approximately $30,000 to organizations during the 2022-2023 field seasons. Groups eligible to submit project proposals include all non-federal organizations, state agencies, local governments, Cooperative Weed Management Areas, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, registered non-profits, local communities, and Alaska Native organizations.

The deadline to apply is February 28, 2022. For applications and instructions on how to apply, go to the Division of Forestry's Community Forestry Program website at

CONTACT: or Jim Renkert, (907) 269-8465,

Grants available to help choke off chokecherry trees in Alaska

Once considered desirable landscape trees, chokecherry trees across Alaska are now the target of widespread control efforts aimed at reducing the impact of these prolific flowering trees because of the threat they pose to moose, salmon and native plant species.

The USDA Forest Service and the Alaska Division of Forestry are offering grants to local governments and non-profit organizations to remove two types of invasive chokecherry trees from Alaska.

Both Prunus padus, commonly known as European bird cherry, chokecherry, or mayday trees, and Prunus virginiana, commonly known as Canada red, or chokecherry, were originally introduced in Alaska as attractive ornamental trees. Since their introduction the harmful nature of these trees has become apparent, and both species have the potential to significantly affect native ecosystems in Alaska.

"While chokecherry trees are a springtime favorite of many Alaskans for their beautiful and aromatic blossoms, they are becoming what some ecologists call 'rogue ornamentals,'" said Jim Renkert, manager of the Division's Community Forestry Program. "The pretty tree in our yards has gone feral in Alaska greenbelts and parks. In many areas it is aggressively outcompeting our native species and changing the habitat."

Now rapidly invading riparian and natural forest areas in Fairbanks, the Matanuska- Susitna Borough, the Municipality of Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula Borough, and Juneau, Prunus padus is especially aggressive and poses several different hazards:

  • Prunus padus can take over the understory of forests, and form thickets where native plants once grew.
  • There are documented cases of moose dying of cyanide poisoning from consuming Prunus padus.
  • Future salmon populations may be smaller due to increasing streamside growth of Prunus padus, which produces less of the insect biomass that falls into water to provide food for juvenile salmon.

The grants are offered to help recipients identify and remove prominent stands of these two Prunus species from Alaska, and to train additional certified pesticide management consultants and applicators.

Approximately $100,000 is available in grants of up to $25,000 each. Grants will be awarded to applicants with knowledge and commitment to removing Prunus species from their communities. The application deadline is March 11, 2022.

Additional information is available in the request for proposals and grant application form at

CONTACT: Jim Renkert, (907) 269-8465,

Project Learning Tree

The Alaska Division of Forestry is also teaming up with Project Learning Tree to provide applicants with free curriculum to connect students to your school's trees, or trees in their communities. Project Learning Tree (PLT) is a national environmental education program that uses trees and forests as windows for learning, and is an initiative of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). With funding from SFI, applicants can access PLT's new, downloadable Theme-based activity collections for educators. The following collections are available:

These collections are theme-based, and include 3 activities with outdoor learning components, printable student pages and (some) adaptations for remote learners. All activities are NGSS correlated (sample here), and highlight academic standards in ELA, Math and Social Studies as applicable. Although organized by grade level, many activities also include variations for other grade levels. For more information about these educational resources, contact Molly Gillespie, Alaska PLT State Coordinator.

Tree Campus K-12

The NASF grant and Project Learning Tree curriculum are also excellent opportunities for schools to become recognized by the national Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus K-12. The goal of this program is to "inspire the next generation of tree stewards through experiences that bring the benefits of trees to life both outside and in the classroom." To achieve recognition, schools are required to meet four basic program goals:

Schools are encouraged to involve students in the application and planning process. Simply by completing this application process and hosting a student-led planting event, schools can reach many of the benchmarks required for recognition. For more information about becoming a Tree Campus K-12 and the many benefits associated with recognition, visit the Arbor Day Foundation Website.

Alaska Community Forest Council offers Arbor Day grants

The Alaska Community Forest Council is offering grants to help organizations commemorate Arbor Day in Alaska, which will be celebrated on May 17.

Arbor Day is America's national tree planting holiday, a day set aside to plant ceremonial trees, educate children about the significance of trees, and honor the crucial role that trees play in our communities and lives. In Alaska, Arbor Day is celebrated on the third Monday in May.

The Alaska Community Forest Council is a nonprofit organization with 15 members from around the state, which advises the Division of Forestry on how to develop and deliver community forestry programs to Alaskans, support education, and encourage public involvement.

The council is offering grants in the $200-$500 range, which can be used to plant trees or shrubs, or support other activities that promote Arbor Day in Alaska. The grants are aimed at local governments, schools, and nonprofit organizations. Grant applications are accepted year-round. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and grant awards will be announced following the council's quarterly meetings in May, August, November, and March.

The grants are intended to fund projects that:

  • Generate awareness of and participation in Arbor Day in Alaska
  • Increase public awareness of the benefits of trees and forests and build support for planting and caring for public trees
  • Provide a public demonstration of the benefits of trees and/or proper tree selection, planting and care
  • Use trees to solve community problems. Examples include reducing or treating storm water, creating wind breaks or living snow fences, restoring streams and rivers, planting fruit trees to provide healthy food, screening surfaces prone to graffiti, calming traffic, and beautifying school yards

Grant funds were provided by contributions from the Society of American Foresters Cook Inlet and Yukon River Chapters, and Paul's Tree Service. For more information and grant application forms, visit:

CONTACT: Gino Graziano, council member, 907-786-6315,


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