Growing trees to help Alabamians save money
Money may not literally grow on trees, but it sure does figuratively. In fact, recent studies have shown that tree-shaded neighborhoods can be 3 to 6 degrees cooler than treeless ones. Imagine what that can mean to your heating and cooling bills. One study conducted by the EPA shows that careful landscaping can decrease air conditioning bills by up to 75 percent, especially if you plant them on the south or southwest side of a structure to shade hot summer sun. In the winter, trees can be used to buffer harsh seasonal winds.
We created Good Roots Grants to encourage projects that improve the quality of our environment in our communities, towns and cities by planting more trees.
How we evaluate Good Roots Grant candidates
Good Roots Grants always meet the following criteria:
- The project helps to maintain an excellent quality of life and enhances and improves the quality of the environment in communities across the state, and encourages active community involvement.
- Eligible groups include: local governments (cities, towns, communities of any size, educational institutions) or city and county school systems, private schools, universities and any 501 (c)(3) organization.
- Awards are paid to the organization and not to individuals.
- Recipient organizations must have tax-exempt status under the IRS Code and must not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, nationality or ethnic origin.
- Grants will be awarded up to $1,000.
- Funds will be available for the purchase of trees only – not shrubs, bedding plants or other landscaping items. Planting, watering and maintenance must be provided through other funding or volunteers.
- All trees shall be planted according to the procedures prescribed by the International Society of Arborculture or the National Arbor Day Foundation. (http://www.arborday.org/trees/index.cfm)
- The local government or nonprofit representative must endorse the project. A signed grant agreement is required for all grant recipients.
- A grant selection committee will judge each application competitively on an objective and nondiscriminatory basis. This committee will make the final determination of all grant awards.
- Applications will be judged on: the degree of environmental benefit to the community, likelihood of project success, degree to which the project is supported by local leaders, degree to which volunteers are involved and how the project spurs community involvement, degree to which the long-term care of the trees is demonstrated and soundness of the project’s financial plan.
- The applying project or program has not received funds from one of our other programs.