HEALTHY TREES, HEALTHY COMMUNITY WRAP-UP
October 20, 2021
Over the past several weeks, we have explored the importance of a healthy urban forest to the overall physical, mental and financial health of our community. This is the final article in this particular series, although the City of Roundup's Tree Board hopes to continue to provide helpful information concerning our tree population to the public. We view education, ours as well as yours, as a very important aspect of the duties with which we are charged.
For purposes of providing a brief history, the Roundup City Council established the Tree Board by ordinance in the early '90's. The board was to consist of 9 members, who serve the community voluntarily. The ordinance also included a provision for the B.U.D. Committee (Beautification Undertaken for Decades), which was created in 1989 to plant and care for the Main Street trees. Up until the past decade, the Main Street trees and those in the city's parks were the primary focus.
Monies for the projects undertaken by the board are primarily provided by grants awarded by the Forestry Division of DNRC. Under most of these grants, the city must provide a 100% match, which can be a combination of cash and in-kind – basically volunteerism. For instance, the 2021 DNRC grant awarded to Roundup was for $9,000. Signal Peak Community Foundation and the Musselshell Valley Community Foundation have also awarded grants for specific projects undertaken by the board. As a result of the city's vigorous tree program, Roundup has won a number of awards over the years. In 1992, the city was named by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City, USA making it eligible for an annual $750 no-match grant for planting new trees on Arbor Day. Roundup was awarded the Outstanding Forestry Project in 2017 by the Montana Urban and Community Forestry Association (MUCFA), the Montana Tree City of the Year and the Outstanding Urban Forestry Leader of the Year in 2020.
Nearly all of the grants require some cash match, generally 1:1. The board's city budget is typically $5,000 so if, for instance, a grant is awarded for $9,000, one can easily see that a large part must be provided through in-kind match. Roundup and the Tree Board are fortunate to have a great volunteer base; thus, typically the in-kind match has more than doubled the cash match. It is gratifying that in the past few years more people have stepped up to volunteer with the program, including our 3 junior volunteers. Partnerships with NorthWestern Energy, the Montana Extension Service, Roundup Schools and the Montana Urban and Community Forestry Association (MUCFA) have also been developed. Also assisting and providing support are Mayor Jones and the City Council, the local newspapers and KLMB radio. (continued next week)