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LHVA announces grants available to help plant trees

The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority announces that the fall 2009 round of the TreeVitalize Metro Grants Program is now open.

Deadline for applications is Wednesday.

LHVA awarded $89,700 in TreeVitalize Metro grants to eleven communities in the spring.

The statewide program provides grants and technical assistance to communities for tree-planting. Municipalities or municipal agencies in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties are eligible. Eligible expenses include trees, tree supplies, site preparation, and tree-planting costs. Grant program guidelines and application are available at www.LHVA.org.

The TreeVitalize program is designed to increase tree canopy cover in the metropolitan areas of Pennsylvania. Trees measurably increase the quality of life for urban residents. They help to capture storm water and reduce runoff, improve air and water quality, reduce urban heat island effects, beautify communities and increase property values, reduce heating and cooling costs, and improve human health. The goals of the program are to:

• plant one million trees by 2012 through this and other programs

• train community volunteers to assist in the planting and early care of trees

• build community capacity for the long term management of urban forests

TreeVitalize is a partnership of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, PA Community Forests, Penn State Extension Urban Forestry, and local municipalities. The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority is the metro partner for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metro area. The Authority received $200,000 in TreeVitalize Metro funding to implement a tree planting program in Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties.

For more information about TreeVitalize, contact Stephanie Milewski, LHVA trail manager and environmental program officer, at 963-6730 ext. 8203 or smilewski@LHVA.org.

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