Urban Forest Grant Approved
CAL FIRE has notified the City of Norco that its proposal for an urban forest expansion and enhancement grant has been approved, providing approximately $243,000 of funding for technical expertise, new tree plantings and maintenance over a three-year period. The City has committed to assembling a Technical Advisory Council of certified arborists and professors of botany or forestry from area colleges to assist staff in selecting the most appropriate species for Norco’s unique environment. In addition to community aesthetics, other considerations will include fire and erosion prevention, greenhouse gas reduction and resistance to draught and pests. Approximately 1,200 new trees are expected to be planted along City rights-of-way, in parks and on school campuses, with homeowners, students and businesspeople trained and incentivized to care for them.
The monies distributed by CAL FIRE are provided through Prop 68, a state bond measure passed in 2018 to fund parks, environmental protection projects, water infrastructure projects, and flood protection projects. Approximately $80,000 has been pledged in matching funds from the City, most of which will consist of staff time dedicated to the project. The grant program is scheduled to begin in September 2019 and a major component will be a multimedia public outreach effort to gauge homeowners’ interest in caring for new trees, as well as educating residents and businesspeople on the benefits of the urban forest and what resources are available to ensure its health.
This is an ambitious program that will require participation by a diverse group of entities, including vendors like West Coast Arborists and Brightview Landscape Services, as well as the California Conservation Corps, Norco College and the Norco High School Agriculture Department. Also identified as community partners in the City’s proposal are local nonprofits such as RURAL, Norco Horseman’s Association and the Boy Scouts.
Stay tuned for updates on how you may help to enhance Norco’s urban forest!
For more information, contact the City of Norco at (951) 270-5623 or firstname.lastname@example.org.