NEWBURGH – The City of Newburgh has been awarded $40,000 by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to dramatically improve its urban forest in 2021.
The funds will be used to remove thirty five (35) trees throughout the City that pose a danger due to falling limbs and weakened structures caused by certain diseases. Most notably, of the 35 hazardous trees to be removed five (5) are in the City’s iconic downing Park; seven (7) are infected ash trees on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard; and one (1) is adjacent to the Delano Hitch recreation Park. The money will also enable the preparation of 20 empty tree pits for planting along the Broadway Corridor.
“This grant will go a long way toward the re-greening of Broadway, our main business district, which has been virtually devoid of trees for many years,” said Chuck Thomas, Chair of the Conservation Advisory Council. “We appreciate the DEC’s strong financial backing of our efforts to improve the health of our residents and our environment.”
The winning grant proposal was a collaboration between Kippy Boyle, member of the City’s Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) at the time the grant was drafted; and Karen Eberle-McCarthy, president of the Downing Park Planning Committee.
The grant application was chosen from among 154 submissions statewide, and is part of the DEC’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, which works to increase public awareness of the importance of trees and helps communities develop and implement comprehensive tree management plans to create healthy forests while enhancing quality of life for residents.
The total funding for the projects statewide was $1.4 million. Projects were ranked by cost effectiveness, lasting benefits, use of partnerships, inclusion of outreach and education, and support from local stakeholders. These grants complement DEC’s ongoing initiatives to address invasive species, climate change, environmental degradation, environmental justice, and urban sprawl. Over the last nine years, New York State has funded more than $11.4 million in grants to support projects with a total value of more than $18.3 million.