AUGUSTA – Maine’s Project Canopy will award $200,000 in grants this spring to local municipal units of government, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations that support community efforts to develop and maintain long-term community forestry programs.

Project Canopy, a cooperative partnership between the Department of Conservation’s Maine Forest Service and the Pine Tree State Arboretum, encourages communities to develop project proposals that support sustainable community forestry management, increase awareness of the benefits of trees and forests, and increase the health and livability of communities through sound tree planting and maintenance.

The Maine Forest Service anticipates that $200,000 will be available to support community forestry projects in 2007. Project Canopy has three grant categories for applicants to choose from: planning and education grants, tree planting and maintenance grants, and inner city improvement grants.

Project Canopy grants are competitive and require a 50 percent match from the grant recipient in cash or in-kind services. To be eligible to apply for 2007 Project Canopy assistance grants, all applicants must attend a grant workshop prior to submitting an application.

Grant workshops are scheduled for the third and fourth weeks of January, will be held in various locations throughout the state and will cover topics including grant writing, project development, sustainable community forestry management and grant administration.

Applications must be submitted to the Maine Forest Service by 5 p.m. March 16. To learn more about the Project Canopy assistance program and to sign up for a grant workshop, contact Project Canopy at 623-2371. More information is available on the Web at