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Winners of tree-planting grants announced

 

$70,110 awarded to Michigan communities

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, DTE Energy Foundation and ReLeaf Michigan announce the award of $70,110 to 29 organizations in Michigan to plant 750 trees along community streets, in parks and other public spaces.

In our area, both the Village of Sparta and the Sparta Recreation Authority each received a grant of $3,000.

This tree-planting grant program is sponsored by the DTE Energy Foundation in partnership with the DNR and ReLeaf Michigan as part of a long-standing commitment to improving communities and the environment throughout the state.

“These trees will help improve community quality of life and the environment through beautification, cleaning the air, increasing tree canopy to produce cooling shade, and providing habitat for wildlife,” said Kevin Sayers, DNR Urban and Community Forestry program coordinator.

The tree-planting grants are part of a long-term initiative to partner with communities, schools and nonprofits on programs to take care of the environment, noted Faye Nelson, vice president of DTE Energy and board chair and president of the DTE Energy Foundation.

“The DTE Energy Foundation has always believed it is our responsibility to sustain and protect Michigan’s legacy—from  its cultural institutions to its beautiful natural environment—and to help build its future,” Nelson said. “As good environmental stewards, we are proud to support the 2017 tree-planting program and partner with the DNR to invest in the future of our state by ensuring these spaces are enjoyed for generations to come.”

Grants awarded under this program will be used to help purchase trees of various species and sizes to be planted this fall or next spring.

ReLeaf Michigan, a nonprofit organization, works closely with communities statewide to replenish tree canopies through volunteer tree-planting events. Communities interested in coordinating local volunteer tree-planting or educational events are encouraged to contact ReLeaf Michigan to find out how they can assist. Call, email or visit them online at 1-800-642-7353, info@releafmichigan.org, or  www.releafmichigan.org.

For more information or a list of approved grants contact Kevin Sayers at 517-284-5898 or visit the program website at www.mi.gov/ucf. For additional information about the DTE Energy Foundation, please contact Anne O’Dell at 313-235-5555.

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