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Vermont Community Canopy Program Celebrates Milestone

For Immediate Release – June 3, 2024

Media Contact:
Gwen Kozlowski, Outreach and Education Coordinator
Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program, 802-656-7638

Vermont Community Canopy Program Celebrates Milestone:
1,000 Free Trees Distributed Statewide

Montpelier, VT- The Vermont Community Canopy Program has completed its eighth successful season, distributing 1,000 free trees across the state and surpassing 5,000 trees planted since 2017. Funding this year was made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and prioritized communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic to help protect them from future crises.

This program is a collaborative effort between the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation (FPR), the University of Vermont Extension’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, and the Arbor Day Foundation. It aims to increase tree canopy in partnering communities through strategic tree planting on private property. Since its inception, the program has engaged over 2,500 community members across 15 municipalities, fostering a sense of environmental stewardship and community pride.

Homeowners participating in the program use a research-based online mapping tool to identify the best locations for tree planting, maximizing environmental benefits by providing shade to reduce summer cooling costs, improving air quality, and mitigating the urban heat island effect. This season's tree distribution reached residents in Bellows Falls, Bennington, Rockingham, Rutland, St. Albans, and St. Johnsbury.

"We are thrilled to celebrate another successful season of the Community Canopy Program," says Elise Schadler, Program Manager for the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program. "This initiative not only enhances the beauty of our communities but also promotes sustainability and environmental consciousness among our residents."

The success of the Vermont Community Canopy Program underscores shared commitments between FPR and Vermont communities to environmental stewardship and increasing tree cover.

The program will identify additional communities this fall to distribute another 750 trees. Learn about the Vermont Community Canopy Program online.