Improving Community Forests Through Citizen Engagement FAQs

Q: Can a city use grant funds to contract with a consultant to complete a public tree inventory?


A: The purpose of the grant program is to engage citizens in the work of their city's tree program on an ongoing basis. If the city has a tree survey or sampling that was conducted with volunteers or if they include a tree survey with volunteers in their proposal, then grant funds can be used to hire a contractor to develop a management plan, tree risk management plan, or EAB readiness plan using the inventory data, and should also address how citizen volunteers will be engaged on an ongoing basis.


Q: I recall reading that the DNR conducted a "Community Forest Rapid Assessment" of most Minnesota communities a few years back. Is the data from that project available for my city?


A: Yes. There are two Rapid Assessment documents for each of the 700 communities surveyed. They are a "Tree Genera Diversity" pie chart and a set of summary tables for all the data collected. These files are available by request from DNR Forestry. Call or email Jane Sterk, DNR Forestry at 651-259-5301 or [email protected]


Q: 25% match over 3 years? What does that mean? Do we have 3 years to match it?


A: Yes, you can spread out your match over the 3 years of the project (from March 2016 until May, 2018).


Q: Do you have any idea of the cash cost to the city to conduct a grant project?


A: If you receive a $30,000 grant, your match amount is $7,500 of which half can be in-kind and the other half needs to be cash ($3,750, or $1,250 per year). The DNR's grant project partners will help you determine the overall cost for your grant project. Cities do not receive grant funds up front, but can get reimbursed for eligible expenses up to twice a year.


Q: Can the grant funds be used to hire arborists to structurally prune public trees and landscape contractors to plant trees?


A: No. All grant project plantings and maintenance of newly planted trees will be done by volunteers and city staff. Grant funds cannot be used for maintenance of any kind on established trees.