Tonawanda News — The Town of Tonawanda will receive more than $86,000 from the state for urban forest management, according to a release Friday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
As municipalities across the state celebrated Arbor Day, Cuomo said in total nearly $800,000 would be distributed to dozens of communities this year, an announcement made during an Albany ceremony celebrating National Arbor Day, an observance that promotes tree planting and tree care.
“Arbor Day and Earth Week give all New Yorkers an opportunity to reflect on the old saying: We have not inherited the earth from our parents, we are borrowing it from our children,” Cuomo said. “These grants which will help us protect trees in communities around New York are part of our state’s commitment to that ideal.”
Arbor Day was founded by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska in 1872, National Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday in April. It was initially established to encourage farmers and homesteaders to plant trees that would provide shade, shelter, food, fuel and beauty to open areas.
In total, 34 grants will go to cities, towns, villages and not-for-profit organizations in New York, which are funded from the state Environmental Protection Fund. Tonawanda will receive $37,770 for a 2014-2015 tree planting project as well as another $49,647 for a tree inventory project.
Assemblyman Robin Schimminger said the money will aid conservation efforts in the town.
“Today’s announcement is a perfect way to round out the Arbor Day and Earth Week celebrations,” Schimminger, D,C,I-Kenmore, said. “Trees play such an important role in enhancing our environment, not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they add oxygen to the air, provide shade and help with water quality.”
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said the funding will also support green infrastructure projects to assist in storm water management.
“Arbor Day is a great reminder of the value trees play in our daily lives and their role in protecting and enhancing our environment and quality of life,” he said.