BROOKLYN â€” The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has awarded urban forestry grants to the Gowanus Canal Conservancy ($37,400) and the Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project ($25,000), two of the many organizations that were recipients statewide.
â€œUrban forestry initiatives are key to promoting clean air, clean water, energy savings, habitat creation, and improved quality of life for New York residents,â€ DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. â€œThese grants build upon our goals to improve the environment across the state and will have a lasting impact by creating cleaner, healthier communities for both current and future generations to enjoy.â€
Funding for the grants comes from the stateâ€™s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to support a variety of projects involving community tree planting, tree inventories and management plans, as well as green infrastructure projects such as rain gardens and green roofs.
In addition to the two Brooklyn projects named above, a grant of $62,500 was given to a citywide organization, the New York Restoration Project. The project, funded by singer Bette Midler, sponsors about 20 community gardens in Brooklyn, all of them in the central and northern parts of the borough.
Recipients were chosen from 163 applicants based on criteria that included the contributions the projects will have on the local environment.
In addition to environmental and forestry components, reviewers considered how projects would contribute to environmental justice by factoring in population density, relative economic status, and outreach to under-served communities