Canopy newsletter: Forestry grants awarded with a focus on reducing disparities

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Healthy tree canopy grants awarded

Tree planting Valley View Bloomington

Grant projects focus on reducing disparities

We recently awarded 27 grants that will invest not only in the county's tree canopy but also the health and economic vitality of communities.

Grant recipients

Grant recipients include: 

  • 10 cities to complete or update tree inventories, develop tree replacement plans, create gravel-bed nurseries, train staff, and plant and remove trees. 
  • 5 affordable housing organizations to plant trees and proactively manage ash trees.
  • 12 schools and nonprofit organizations to engage youth in learning about and planting trees.

See the full listing of grant recipients and project descriptions.

How trees can help reduce disparities

Planting trees at North High

Areas with lower tree canopy cover tend to have starker disparities in air quality, health, income and housing.

Without proactive efforts, the emerald ash borer is likely to worsen these inequities. The invasive tree pest threatens to kill all of the 1 million ash trees in Hennepin County, which make up 15 percent of the tree canopy.

Trees help cool our streets and sidewalks, provide energy savings, clean our air and water, and improve our health. But these benefits are not shared equally across communities, since many lower-income neighborhoods have fewer trees. This is why grant projects were prioritized in areas with lower tree canopy and higher disparities.

Future grant opportunities

We will likely be offering another funding round later this year. Stay tuned to this newsletter for updates.

Tree steward class offered in Plymouth in April

Hennepin County, in partnership with the University of Minnesota and the City of
Plymouth, is holding a class to train tree steward volunteers.

The class will be held:

  • Date: Saturday, April 13
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Location: City of Plymouth Maintenance Facility, 14900 23rd Avenue North in Plymouth.
  • Cost: $25 per person
Tree planting on Hiawatha

Tree stewards are volunteers who learn about the basics of tree care then have opportunities to participate in tree care and tree planting events in their community.

The class covers the basics of tree biology and care, including tree identification, health, watering, and pruning. The class will include a combination of classroom instructions and hands-on, outdoor field experience.

Tree steward classes are open to the public, and no experience is needed. All necessary tools and safety equipment will be provided. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Learn more and register.

For more information, contact Shane DeGroy at or 612-543-3697.

Hennepin County Environment and Energy


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