U. S. Department of Agriculture - Forest Service
The Forest Service’s mission is to achieve quality sustainable land management in order to meet the diverse needs of people. In connection with brownfields redevelopment, the Forest Service is helping states and communities use the forests wisely in order to promote rural economic development and a quality rural environment.
- Provides technical assistance for brownfields projects in selected areas — targeted to EPA grantee local governments, federal Empowerment Communities and Enterprise Zones.
- Offers technical and financial assistance for sustainable redevelopment and reuse projects — targeted to state and local governments and community-based groups in Atlanta, Seattle, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Las Vegas, East St. Louis, South Florida (four county area), Philadelphia, Boston and Buffalo.
- Works with EPA and other federal agencies to assist with the redevelopment of brownfields located in rural communities or near mine-scarred lands.
- Supports communities that want to convert existing brownfields into natural open space parks, tree-covered linear parks and other land conservation projects.
- Assists rural and urban brownfields communities in applying for USDA grants and loans.
USDA Urban Resources Partnership (URP)
Provides funding and technical assistance to community-led environmental projects. The Forest Service has selected 13 areas (listed below) where the URP has been established. The URP works closely with community development corporations as a mechanism to make its resources available.
Eligibility Requirements: Atlanta, Seattle, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Las Vegas, East St. Louis, South Florida (four county area), Philadelphia, Boston and Buffalo.
Availability: Only available in the 13 areas listed above. Additional communities may be added through a competitive application process as other cities “graduate” from receiving direct federal support
Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) Program
The UCF program provides financial and technical assistance to maintain, restore and improve the health of urban trees, forests, greenspace and sustainable forest ecosystems.
Eligibility Requirements: States are required to have an urban and community forestry program coordinator, volunteer/partnership coordination, an urban and community forestry council and a state program strategic plan (five-year plan).
Availability: Funding for the UCF program is an annual process dependant upon Congressional appropriation.
Uses/Applications: Promotes the conservation of open greenspace in order to guide growth and revitalize city centers and older suburbs through a training program and informational resources.
State Urban Forestry Coordinators
These coordinators work closely with municipal governments to develop strategic plans for brownfields reuse that protects natural resources.
Open Space Development and Tree Planting
Efforts are being made to provide technical assistance and funding for open space development and tree planting, including the National Tree Trust, American Forests, ReLeaf Fund and National Arbor Day Foundation. Research also is being conducted on the effects of using trees during brownfields remediation.
Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment
The Forest Service’s ecosystem approach to management integrates ecological, economic and social factors to maintain and enhance the quality of the environment to meet current and future needs. Through technical and financial assistance, the Forest Service assists states and private landowners in practicing good stewardship, promoting rural economic development and improving the natural environment of cities and communities.
Old Town, Maine
A former factory, located on a three-acre waterfront site along the Penobscot River in Old Town, Maine, is undergoing redevelopment activities. In the late 1980s, city officials became interested in acquiring the site for redevelopment as part of ongoing efforts to revitalize the downtown. Cleanup activities included removal of extensive structural and asbestos materials, four underground storage tanks, several electrical transformers containing PCBs, stock tanks, the contents of an oil/water separator, and removal and treatment of 2,570 cubic yards of petroleum contaminated soil. Upon completion of these activities, the City of Old Town acquired the property in 1997. The property now contains a 9,000-square foot retail building, "Marsh Island Carry", and has three tenants. After identifying landscaping as an important redevelopment need, the City of Old Town applied for and received $8,000 from the Forest Service for tree planting.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Hazardous Materials Management Group
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20250-9100
Main Website: http://www.fs.fed.us