STATE ADDS ADDITIONAL $70,000
TO FOREST HEALTH GRANT FOR SPOKANE

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On the heels of a $50,000 grant for a forest health project at High Drive Park, the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has granted an additional $70,000 to the City of Spokane Urban Forestry program for similar work at Palisades Park and Camp Sekani/Beacon Hill.

“The money will be used for contract work on thinning and pruning the forest. This will reduce the risk of intense, uncontrollable fires that would threaten adjacent homes and neighborhoods as well as the trees themselves,” said Guy Gifford, a forester with DNR.

“The thinning and pruning will also improve the forest health as the remaining trees will have more space, light, and moisture so they will be less susceptible to damage from pine bark beetles” he added.

“This is a dream come true,” said Robbi Castleberry, president of Palisades, a neighborhood stewardship organization. “For a number of years, we have set aside funds and worked thousands of volunteer hours but the DNR grant will do a whole lot more in a lot less time to help protect the neighborhood while creating a safe place for passive recreation and wildlife.”

The City’s partnership with the Palisades organization enabled the Urban Forestry department to access funding from a state jobs bill through the DNR. The High Drive, Palisades, and Camp Sekani/Beacon Hill stewardship organizations have all received national recognition as Firewise Communities.

About the Firewise Communities Program

Brush, grass or forest fires don’t have to be disasters. The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Firewise Communities program encourages local solutions for wildfire safety by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, firefighters, and others in the effort to protect people and property from wildfire risks. The program is co-sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, the US Department of the Interior, and the National Association of State Foresters. To save lives and property from wildfire, NFPA’s Firewise Communities program teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together and take action now to prevent losses.

About Urban Forestry

City of Spokane Urban Forestry staff manages 50,000 street trees and another 28,000 trees on developed park land within the City of Spokane. City arborists help manage the urban forest by planting and maintaining trees throughout the City. The thinning of trees in some areas is also done to improve the overall health of various stands of trees in the City’s park system. Improving the City’s urban forest is an ongoing project that will take decades of work and careful management. For more information please call 509.363.5470 or go online to www.spokaneurbanforestry.org