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As with any infrastructure project, securing the proper sources of funding can make or break the final result. The upkeep of urban forestry is essential to sustaining the project following the initial installation period, making long term funding a key concern. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Forest Service both offer funding opportunities, as do a number of corporate-nonprofit partnerships. Aside from these traditional funding sources, communities have had to create their own innovative approaches for long-term funding. Utilize the resources below to understand how communities have secured green infrastructure funds and to review a selection of funding opportunities.

A more recent concept is the idea that some communities trees can pay for others. By and large, downed trees are rarely recycled and end up chipped and mulched. A number of communities have begun to find markets for these trees among artisans and small sawmills seeking reclaimed or recycled wood. Some municipalities have even created markets by incubating small local industry devoted to use of reclaimed urban trees. Additionally, it is not uncommon for tree care companies to work with developers to determine whether any trees slated for removal might be diverted to some other productive use. Monies earned could be mandated for mitigation by the developer, or diverted to the community’s urban forestry budget – providing the funds for mandated replacement and mitigation. More on this topic can be found in the Financing Urban Forestry Programs section of the Planning Process.

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USDA Forest Service Funding Opportunities

This site is regularly updated with funding opportunities for urban forestry and green infrastructure projects from the US Forest Service.

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Financing Alternative Comparison Tool User Guide

This document serves as a user guide for software that allows stormwater managers to compare costs of alternative approaches to stormwater management.

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Alternative Transfer of Development Rights Transaction Mechanisms

This tool details a strategy for protecting interface lands and urban green space by directing development to selected zones.

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EPA Green Infrastructure Funding

This page lists most federal sources of green infrastructure funding from various agencies and includes links to various means of self-funding of projects through fees, etc.

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Four Myths about Urban Forests and Greening Cities II

Myth 2:  Only Big Cities Can Make it Happen Just not so.  And there are dozens of urban forestry and green infrastructure planners who’ll show you how small cities and towns have greened their communities — as well, or even better, than their metro-sized neighbors. Three approaches seem to work best. Comprehensive Regional Planning Enable Municipal […] READ MORE

Strategies for Self -Funding Your Programs

Most urban forestry programs will probably always rely heavily on general fund allocations, but other options exist that can provide a revenue stream more clearly dedicated to the stewardship and management of urban forests. – “Planning the Urban Forest,” American Planning Association (2009) READ MORE

I-Tree Tools

The I-Tree suite of tools is the “Swiss Army Knife” of urban forestry.  It can do just about anything – from calculating the benefits of planting a single tree on a specific site to estimating your community’s overall tree canopy and monetizing the ecosystem services it provides.  Thousands of users have proven the old adage:  […] READ MORE