The Nebraska Forest Service and Nebraska Statewide Arboretum provide key services to municipalities, green industry professionals and community tree advocacy groups and organizations.
Planting and Greening Nebraska Towns
The Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, with support from the Nebraska Environmental Trust, is accepting applications for its “Greener Towns” and “Trees for Nebraska Towns” (TNT) programs. Communities are invited to apply for funding, which focuses on plant diversity and sustainable landscapes and provide funding and technical assistance to public projects in Nebraska communities.
- Tree planting
- Improving stormwater management
- Waterwise landscapes
- Native plants for pollinators
To be eligible, projects must provide clear public benefit and be located within or near the incorporated limits of a Nebraska community. Typical planting sites include but are not limited to street trees, parks, schools, college campuses, libraries, courthouses, fairgrounds, and cemeteries. Funds are not available for homeowners but individuals interested in coordinating a neighborhood-wide project can apply for funding through a neighborhood association or other organization.
Free Trees for Fall Planting
This program offers up to 10 trees per project. It was intended for those who don’t quite fit with our larger Trees for Nebraska Towns (TNT) program.
Projects can vary but need to be on public property and provide a clear public benefit. The only other requirement is that the recipient conducts a public outreach effort (community tree celebration, volunteer planting, newspaper article, etc.) and report activities to the NFS. We are especially interested in and encourage applicants to consider street tree plantings in neighborhoods of highest need.
- Planting trees in public spaces and areas of civic importance
Projects must be located in Nebraska and focused on a property of civic importance and that provides a clear public benefit. Eligible planting sites include street right-of-way, parks, school grounds, college campuses, the grounds of civic buildings, recreation areas, common areas, and cemeteries. Trees can be planted in front and side yards of private property if they will help shade public streets and sidewalks. Grant applicants must represent a group or organization.
Community Forest and Open Space
We are searching for municipalities and private landowners that are interested in partnering to expand public access to forests near their communities. Through a grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture, communities and qualifying nonprofits can apply for funding to establish “community forests” through the acquisition of private forestlands.
The grant program aims to protect forestland from conversion while providing access for recreation, education, wildlife protection, and sustainable forest management. Grants are available as a 50% cost share match with a maximum award of $400,000. Matches can include cash, in-kind services, or donations.
To qualify properties must have private forestland that is at least five acres in size, suitable to sustain natural vegetation, and at least 75 percent forested is considered eligible lands for grants funded under this program. The lands must also be threatened by conversion to non-forest use, must be offered for sale by a willing seller, and if acquired by an eligible entity, must provide defined community benefits under Community Forest Program and allow public access.