Mayor Stephanie A. Miner and the Gifford Foundation have announced a $25,000 national grant to support a public engagement campaign as part of the city’s Urban Forest Master Plan. This campaign will work towards protecting, maintaining and growing Syracuse’s urban forest for the future. An additional $25,000 in matching funds was provided primarily by the Central New York Community Foundation along with the Reller Family Fund, Karen & Michael Grimm and Michael Grimm Services, the Gifford Foundation and other donors.
Syracuse is one of only fifteen cities across the United States selected for the most recent round of funding through the Partners for Places matching grants program. Partners for Places pairs city governments with philanthropy to support sustainability projects that promote a healthy environment, a strong economy, and well-being for all residents. This specific award to the Gifford Foundation/City of Syracuse is made possible by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
“The city of Syracuse is proud to be partnering with the Gifford Foundation to increase the city’s urban forest canopy,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner. “Preserving and growing our urban forest is one way we can mitigate the pernicious effects of climate change and leave a better community for the next generation. I encourage our residents to give their input as they learn more about the urban forest possibilities.”
“This grant leverages national funding to boost local dollars and impact,” notes Dirk Sonneborn, Gifford Foundation Executive Director. “We are especially pleased that the process builds our relationship with the city’s sustainability office, emphasizes community engagement and grows the capacity of the Onondaga Earth Corps and its crew.”
The city of Syracuse and the Gifford Foundation will work with local nonprofit Onondaga Earth Corps (OEC), an organization focused on environmental leadership, as well as employment and service opportunities for youth. The OEC will design and implement a public outreach campaign to engage Syracuse residents in learning more about the importance of a healthy urban forest. Syracuse residents will be given a platform to voice their concerns, add their suggestions and learn about tree management.
“Onondaga Earth Corps (OEC) is grateful and excited to be working in partnership with the City of Syracuse, the Gifford Foundation, the Central New York Community Foundation, local businesses and organizations, and community members on developing an urban forestry master plan that reflects the needs and vision of all Syracusans,” states Greg Michel, OEC Executive Director. “Through this process, youth will learn and demonstrate civic engagement skills that will last a lifetime. By listening, learning and sharing they will shape the future of Syracuse’s urban forest.”