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story.lead_photo.caption Pine Bluff, which was designated a Tree City USA in 2014, recently received a $12,000 Urban and Community Forestry Grant. (Pine Bluff Commercial/Byron Tate)

The city of Pine Bluff was among five recipients of Urban and Community Forestry Grants based on a variety of factors regarding the care and management of trees in the city.

According to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture's Forestry Division, the city received $12,000 for a project titled Green Spaces Green Streets. The grants will fund community projects that will develop, improve, and/or promote urban and community trees and forests.

Pine Bluff was designated a Tree City USA in 2014. The funds are to be used to enhance their project success, according to the release.

The grant review committee ranked proposals based on criteria including how much the proposed project will improve a community's tree management program; proposed implementation plan for the project; proposed level of community involvement; educational components, and proposed tree care and long-term maintenance planning.

"The award will be matched through city staff salaries and tree purchases. Grant funding will be used to purchase supplies for the maintenance of existing trees and the planting of new trees in four park locations. The project will be implemented by city of Pine Bluff staff with technical assistance from the Pine Bluff-Jefferson County Tree City Board and local tree care professionals," according to a news release.

Communities that participate in the Tree City USA, Tree Campus, and Tree Line programs received additional ranking points.

Urban & Community Forestry Grants, administered by the Arkansas Depart ment of Agriculture's Forestry Division, are made available through federal grant funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service's Urban & Community Forestry Grant Program.

Projects awarded Urban & Community Forestry Grants include:

• City of Pine Bluff -- Green Spaces, Green Streets (GS2) Program;

• City of Conway Tree Board -- Dave Ward Interstate Beautification Project;

• City of Trumann-- Cedar Park/Highway 463 North Tree Planting Project;

• Crooked Creek Conservation District -- Streambed & Park Improvement Project;

• UALR Public Radio -- Urban & Community Forestry Awareness Radio Campaign.

Projects awarded 2020 grants must be completed by Aug. 15, 2022. Details: agriculture.arkansas.gov.

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