AUGUSTA — Project Canopy, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s community forestry program, will award $75,000 in grants to local governments, municipalities, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations that support efforts to develop and maintain long-term community forestry programs.

Funded by the USDA Forest Service, Project Canopy grants are available in two categories: planning and education grants and tree planting and maintenance grants. Typical grants range from $6,000 to $8,000 and require a 50 percent cost-share with cash or in-kind services. Since 2005, Project Canopy has awarded more than $1.5 million in funding for community forestry projects.

Project Canopy is a program of the Maine Forest Service under the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. It 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.

Project Canopy Director Jan Ames Santerre provided recent examples of community projects that can benefit from Project Canopy grants. Projects of note in 2017 include Auburn ($9,000), Camden ($10,000), and Biddeford ($10,000) for shade tree inventory and management planning for street trees; and Machias ($8,000), Alfred ($8,000), and Standish ($8,000) that allowed those towns to plant trees in downtowns and town parks.

“In addition to helping communities with general maintenance planning, these grants allow towns to respond to threats from invasive pests such as the emerald ash borer. They can also support community beautification through street tree planting,” said Santerre.

Planning and education grants have a maximum award of $10,000, while planting and maintenance grants have a maximum award of $8,000. To be eligible to apply for a 2018 assistance grant, all applicants must attend a grant workshop before submitting an application.

The grant workshop will be held on Tuesday, March 13, via the web. The workshop will cover such topics as grant writing, project development, sustainable community forestry management and grant administration.

Grant applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, April 6.

To learn more about the Project Canopy assistance program and to sign up for a grant workshop, contact Project Canopy Director Jan Ames Santerre at 207-287-4987.

More information is available on the web at www.projectcanopy.me.