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Project Canopy and Friends of Forest City Trees Present TreeTalk Thursdays at the Federal Street Folly! PDF Print E-mail

PORTLAND: History, bugs and edible forests.  Sounds like the makings of a late night sci-fi movie, but they are actually just three of the events happening at the Federal Street Folly in September!  Project Canopy and the Friends of Forest City Trees are collaborating on a series of four tree-themed gatherings at noon, every Thursday in September on Federal Street in Portland.  These one-hour presentations are free and open to the public. 

On Thursday, September 3rd, Portland City Arborist Jeff Tarling will spin the tales of how Portland became known as the "Forest City" and introduce you to some of Portland's oldest trees. On September 10th, you can "Meet the Bugs"!  For one day only, the bag bugs Emerald Ash Borer and Asian Longhorn Beetle will walk the streets of Portland.  Hear about how bad bugs and sneaky plants can impact Maine's beauty and economy. September 17th will feature edible forest gardens! Come learn why mimicking natural systems can be a model for a beautiful, productive and low maintenance landscape.  And lastly on Thursday the 24th, Project Canopy's Kim Ballard will explain why street trees are vital to a thriving downtown and how you can help.

A collaboration between the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Maine Forest Service and GrowSmart Maine, Project Canopy is Maine's urban and community forestry program.   Their mission is to create and maintain healthy urban and community forests for economic, ecological, and quality of life benefits for Mainers. Project Canopy works to keep Maine's communities green and liveable by working with municipalities and non-profits to help manage public tree resources.

The Friends of Forest City Trees was formed to promote, care for and celebrate OUR trees in the City of Portland. They work to enable connectivity between all interested individuals and organizations, to provide education on all levels within our community, and to promote solid ecological practices on all levels.

Federal Street Folly is a unique collaboration and the first of its kind in Portland. Also known as a "pop-up park," the Folly's intent is to activate the streetscape with design and performing arts programming. It embraces urban planning and smart growth that promotes more walkable and pedestrian friendly spaces.

The Folly's sponsor, The Press Hotel, partnered with Maine College of Art and Tony Cowles, landscape architect, to design and install the Folly. Programming that includes performing, visual and literary arts will highlight and showcase the best of Portland art throughout the summer. For more information, please visit


Project Canopy Announces Community Forestry Grants PDF Print E-mail

AUGUSTA - Project Canopy, a cooperative partnership between the Maine Forest Service and GrowSmart Maine, is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Project Canopy Assistance Grants.  A total of $133,064.78 was awarded in 6 Planning and Education grants and 13 Tree Planting and Maintenance Grants. Planning Grants were awarded to Dixmont Conservation Commission, Farmington Conservation Commission, Town of Kennebunkport, Town of Monmouth, Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, and Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve.   Planting grants were awarded to the City of Presque Isle, University of Maine – Farmington, Town of Pittsfield, Town of Fort Kent, City of Lewiston, City of Belfast, City of Ellsworth, Town of Greenville, Town of Dover-Foxcroft, Town of Milo, Town of Camden, Yarmouth Tree Committee, and Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District.  Project Canopy received a total of 22 applications, 3 from new communities and organizations, with a total grant request of $143,065.

Project Canopy Assistance Grants are available to state, county, and municipal governments, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations for developing and implementing community forestry projects and programs.  Planting projects increase the health and livability of communities through sound tree planting and maintenance, while planning and education projects support sustainable community forestry management, and efforts to increase awareness of the benefits of trees and forests. All grants require a 50% match from the grant recipient in cash or in-kind services.

In Dixmont, the grant will help to transform a 100-acre town-owned woodlot into the Dixmont Town Forest, a carefully planned and managed demonstration forest. The project will be guided by a comprehensive forest management plan to improve the timber stand, protect the soils and wetlands, enhance the habitat for wildlife and encourage non-motorized recreational use of the forest. The project will also include educational outreach for local children and citizens, and efforts to identify and combat invasive species. Plans include partnerships with the Etna-Dixmont school, Project Learning Tree, the American Chestnut Foundation, and Unity College.

The Town of Pittsfield’s comprehensive plan supports a safe and attractive pedestrian and bicycle network in the urban portion of town. In 2014, the MaineDOT implemented a major renovation of Somerset Avenue, which had not been paved for approximately 40 years. The town has focused all available funding into traffic calming measures such as sidewalks, crosswalks and signage. With its Project Canopy grant, the town proposes to continue its relationship with MDOT to create an entry point to the downtown on Somerset Avenue with the planting of trees. This project will replace aging trees in this portion of town, utilizing the efforts of local schools, committees, and organizations that engaged in revitalization efforts.

The students in the University of Maine at Farmington’s First Year Seminar researched and wrote their successful grant application. Removal of 39 large trees lost during construction of the Emery Community Arts Center reduced carbon storage capacity on the UMF campus by 20,113 kg of carbon, a 6% carbon reduction. This Project Canopy Tree Planting Grant will fund the purchase of 42 trees and shrubs encompassing 11 species native to Maine. UMF students have measured changes in carbon storage on campus since 2010. They learn tree identification, forestry survey practices, and about the concept of carbon off-sets. The student experiences associated with this project stimulate public awareness of what constitutes a community forest, the role of forests in the community, and the benefits of long-term, urban tree management.

Project Canopy is funded by the USDA Forest Service Community Forestry Assistance Program. The USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program was authorized by the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (PL95-313) and revised by the 1990 Farm Bill (PL101-624) to promote natural resource management in populated areas and improve quality of life.

Project Canopy Maine PDF Print E-mail

Project Canopy is about people. It educates people about the benefits trees provide, and how trees make people's lives better. It connects people who have a particular expertise to people who need that expertise. It helps build bridges with town and city governments, and it knows how to communicate in a local, political environment. And just as important, Project Canopy helps people talk about success stories, so that they can find the motivation --- and inspiration --- that is crucial for developing creative, long-term community forestry programs. Listen to a quick overview of the Project Canopy program.

The Maine Forest Service has an incredible reservoir of knowledge and expertise. The challenge for us is to get that knowledge to the people who can use it. Any long-term community forestry program needs commitment and understanding from many different corners. Project Canopy's role is to get people in different corners talking to each other, so that awareness about trees can grow by leaps and bounds. We do that by using down-to-earth strategies, and deploying technical experts into the field to lend hands-on assistance.

For example:

  • Helping recruit and organize volunteers;
  • Providing model community tree ordinances;
  • Assisting in fund-raising efforts;
  • Training tree stewards;
  • Providing street tree inventory software;
  • Helping communities appoint/elect a community tree warden;
  • Linking communities to other Maine communities with successful tree programs;
  • Providing lists of local foresters and arborists;
  • Building bridges to national community tree organizations;
  • Assisting in development of a long-term community tree plan;

And much more.

Project Canopy is a cooperative effort of the Maine Forest Service and GrowSmart Maine.


About Project Canopy

A collaboration between the Maine Forest Service and GrowSmart Maine, Project Canopy is Maine's urban and community forestry program.   Our Mission: Create and maintain healthy urban and community forests for or economic, ecological, and quality of life benefits for Mainers.

Project Canopy works to keep Maine's communities green and liveable by working with municipalities and non-profits to help manage public tree resources. Through our grant program and technical assistance, we promote planting and maintaining of trees in Maine communities. Whether we support planting street trees downtown or a management plan development for town forests, Project Canopy works to help Maine communities stay leafy and green.



Contact Us

Jan Ames Santerre
Maine Forest Service
(207) 287-4987

Kim Ballard
GrowSmart Maine
(207) 699-4330