One Central New York town is getting a little greener thanks to new grant program.

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has officially awarded their first rounding of from the Community Forest Conservation Program. A total of $956,189 is being allocated to create community forests in Western New York, Central New York, and Long Island.

Picture of a Planting new tree
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Towns receiving the funding include Brookhaven, Lewiston, Webster, and Whitestown. Each town will use their portion of the funding to acquire and maintain forest land on municipal-owned property.

Whitestown will be receiving $161,100 as their portion of the funding. The town will use the money to purchase 15.9 acres of land to build the forest. Though it is the smallest amount of funding from the grant, the money is still gratefully accepted by the town board.

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
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Here's a breakdown of the funded projects:

  • Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County - $225,000 for 11.3 acres
  • Town of Lewiston, Niagara County - $300,000 for 66.9 acres
  • Town of Webster, Monroe County - $270,089 for 28.7 acres
  • Town of Whitestown, Oneida County - $161,100 for 15.9 acres

Funding for the grant program comes from New York's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). This has been a primary resource for programs like farmland protection, water quality improvement, and land acquisition. Governor Kathy Hochul has been able to boost EPF funding from $300 to $400 since taking office, making this the highest level of funding in the program's history.

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Second round funding for the Community Forest Conservation Grant will be announced sometime in the second half of 2023. Visit the DEC's website for more information on the program.

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