GENESEO — Livingston County has announced that the Village of Avon and the Town of Geneseo have been awarded over $89,000 through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program.

Funding for this program comes from the Environmental Protection Fund and is awarded only to qualifying government entities or not-for-profit organizations.

Both the Village of Avon and the Town of Geneseo worked in conjunction with the Livingston County Grants Office to complete the successful applications. Successful projects must implement tree inventory, community forest management planning, tree planting or tree maintenance projects in NY State to create healthy urban and community forests while enhancing the life of the community residents.

John Marks, Chair of the Village of Avon Parks Commission, stated, “The Village of Avon and its Parks Commission is extremely pleased that we have been awarded two DEC Urban Forestry Grants. The first grant is for $50,000 to assist with tree planting in Avon’s Driving Park (the Village’s largest park). The park had been devastated by an infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer necessitating the removal of 700-800 ash trees over the past year and a half. This funding will greatly assist us in bringing back the natural beauty of the park and restoring the much needed environmental contributions of trees.

The second grant is for $18,500 to assist the Village in developing a tree inventory and management plan that will provide the basis for future care and maintenance of not only park trees but those along the village streets as well.”

Patti LaVigne, Town of Geneseo Board Member, commented, “The Town of Geneseo is excited to be awarded a DEC’s Urban and Community Forestry Grant to conduct a Tree Inventory and Community Forest Management Plan for Long Point and Gateway Parks. This $21,124 will allow the town to manage tree populations in both parks and proactively address maintenance, planting, education and community participation to preserve our forest assets.

"I would like to thank all the people who supported the Town and helped make this effort a reality. The Town is moving forward to finalize the grant and hopes to start implementing the project early next year.”