Water quality projects throughout the Finger Lakes region will get a boost from sharing in some $525,000 for tree-planting projects statewide.

Water quality projects throughout the Finger Lakes region will get a boost from sharing in some $525,000 announced for tree-planting projects statewide. The grant funding through the state Department of Environmental Conservation will be available to help plant trees and shrubs along streams to improve wildlife habitat, water quality and storm resiliency.

This will mark the first round of statewide competitive grants this year for the Trees for Tributaries Program. The program in previous years has helped fund water quality projects around Honeoye and Canandaigua lakes as well as other area of the Finger Lakes region.

The program is designed to support riparian tree planting projects for communities statewide, according to the DEC.

The grant funding is supported by the state’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and is available to municipalities, academic institutions, and not-for-profits. Projects must involve planting native trees and shrubs along streams and projects must occur within eligible funding locations.

Applications are due by 3 p.m. on Sept. 7, 2018. The Trees for Tributaries Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is available on DEC’s website and through the NYS Grants Gateway website grantsreform.ny.gov/.

All grant applicants must register in the NYS Grants Gateway system before applying. Not-for-profit applicants are required to “prequalify” in the system, so it is recommended the process be started well in advance of the grant application due date.

A “how to” webinar is scheduled on Wednesday, July 25, at 10 a.m. to educate potential applicants on the grants process. Visit the Trees for Tributaries Grant Program webpage for details. (https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/77710.html)

General questions about the Trees for Tributaries grants application process may be directed to Mary Hegarty, DEC’s Trees for Tributaries Statewide Coordinator, NYS DEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4250, treesfortribs@dec.ny.gov. To learn more about the Trees for Tributaries Program and its tree planting activities, visit www.dec.ny.gov/animals/77710.html.