Shovel ready: City gets state grant for new trees

Submitted Photo A tree was planted at Dunkirk’s Point Gratiot Park in honor of Arbor Day last week. From left are Allen Hollander and Jim Enser from Revitalize Dunkirk; Vince DeJoy; and Jill Jaquith, Greener Gardens.

The city of Dunkirk has received a $66,500 grant for tree planting from the state in honor of Arbor Day and Earth Week.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office announced the grant last week, as part of more than $2.4 million awarded to 32 urban forestry projects across the state.

The grants are supported by the state’s Environmental Protection Fund. They line up with a goal set by Hochul during her 2024 State of the State address, to plant 25 million trees across the state by 2033.

Dunkirk has several tree planting initiatives going on, as it seeks to replace around 200 trees lost to the ravages of the emerald ash borer. Most of the lost trees were in Point Gratiot Park.

Revitalize Dunkirk and a relatively new group, A Tree For Thee, both are doing tree plantings in conjunction with the city Department of Public Works. The DPW also does plantings on its own.

Vince DeJoy, Dunkirk’s planning and development director, said the city’s grant will provide for 150 new trees, planting materials and supplies, as well as some labor costs. The city government will work in partnership with Revitalize Dunkirk to plant and maintain the trees over the next five years.

“The entire City of Dunkirk is grateful to Gov. Hochul and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation for the funding for this grant, as well as the support and guidance that we have received from DEC Forester Region 9, Nate Morey, as well as Cassandra Pinkoski from Chautauqua County Soil & Water for identifying appropriate species that will withstand the extreme weather and soil conditions that vary at the Point,” said DeJoy.

He added: “Dunkirk’s park system is one of the city’s most treasured assets beloved and used by our residents, and we are so fortunate to have community stakeholders such as Revitalize Dunkirk and A Tree for Thee that take an active role in rebuilding and maintaining our urban forests.”


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