Urban & Community Forestry Financial Assistance Program

In 1978, the US Congress authorized the US Forest Service to provide Urban & Community Forestry (U&CF) technical, financial, research and educational services to local government, non profit organizations community groups, educational institutions, and tribal governments. Today, this federal program is delivered to 50 states and seven US Territories.

PDA Training Urban Forestry PhotoIn Alabama, the US Forest Service delivers direct U&CF federal assistance through the Alabama Forestry Commission. The Alabama Forestry Commission uses this federal assistance to build its own program capacity and to help communities build strong local urban forestry programs.

Since 1991, Alabama has received over $5 million in U&CF funds that have supported over 350 local projects.

Impact of U&CF Federal Assistance in Alabama

  • 66 towns and cities with professional urban forestry staff
  • 21 towns and cities with urban forestry management plans
  • 115 towns and cities with tree ordinances
  • 109 towns and cities with local tree boards
  • 1,823,556 citizens that live in towns and cities receiving U&CF program assistance

How Can My Community Participate in Alabama’s U&CF Program?

The Alabama Forestry Commission funds projects and provides technical assistance that help Alabama communities to professionally manage their community forests. Priority assistance is given to one or more of the following four (4) program benchmarks.

  • Community Forest Management Plans – A detailed document or set of documents, developed from professionally-based resource assessments or inventories, which outlines future management goals and objectives for the community’s trees and forests. The plan must be active (i.e., in use by the community and updated as needed to incorporate new information).
  • Community Forestry Professional Staffing – Individual(s) who have one or more of the following credentials, and who the community directly employs or retains through written agreement to advise and assist in the development or management of their community forestry program: 1) a degree in forestry or related field (e.g., urban forestry, horticulture, arboriculture, etc.) or 2) International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist or equivalent professional certification.
  • Community Tree Ordinances and Policies – Statute or regulation that directs citizens and local governments in the planting, protection and maintenance of community trees and forests.
  • Local Community Tree Advocacy or Advisory Organizations – Active groups (i.e. tree boards, tree commissions, non-profit organizations) that are formalized or chartered within a given community to advocate the planting, protection, and maintenance of community trees and forests.

If you would like more information on the Urban and Community Forestry Financial Assistance Program please contact Dale Dickens.