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Minnesota communities receive grants to fight emerald ash borer

Minnesota communities across the state have received funding to combat emerald ash borer (EAB) and manage city-owned ash trees through two grants from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Collectively, 25 communities spanning from Bemidji to Winona will receive nearly $1 million for tree inventories, management plans, ash removal, and tree planting.

The grants enhance Minnesota’s effort against the invasive beetle that kills ash trees, helping cities build preparedness and coordinate response. “These funds will help front-line communities prepare for EAB,” said Emma Schultz, community forest project specialist with the DNR. “And in areas where the beetle is established, this funding is important to manage ash and diversify urban tree canopies.”

In New Ulm where more than 20 percent of the trees are ash and boulevards are dotted with 2,600 ash trees the discovery of EAB last year raised concern over how the city would cover the cost of tree removal and replacement. “In addition to reducing the financial burden for city residents, our grant allows us to reduce the potential for future insect and disease problems by replanting with a diversity of tree species,” said New Ulm city planner John Knisley.

Preparing for emerald ash borer in community forests

The first group of grants will assist communities in conducting tree inventories and removing and replacing ash. The $679,000 for these grants was appropriated from Minnesota’s General Fund.

City of Bayport, $53,100
City of Bemidji, $14,235
City of Brooklyn Park, $100,000
City of Columbia Heights, $100,000
City of Duluth, $92,400
City of Kellogg, $30,000
City of Lake Crystal, $4,500
City of Lakeville, $25,000
City of Mahnomen, $6,413
City of Mankato, $65,000
City of Moorhead, $50,000
City of New Ulm, $88,352
City of Owatonna, $50,000

Emerald ash borer community forest response tree planting

The second group of grants will assist communities in planting trees on public land in response to EAB. The $300,000 in funding for these grants is from Minnesota’s lottery-funded Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.

City of Blaine, $28,364
City of Hutchinson, $30,000
City of Maplewood, $30,000
City of Mendota Heights, $12,715
City of Morris, $16,996
City of Rochester, $30,000
City of Roseville, $30,000
City of St. Louis Park, $30,000
City of St. Paul, $30,000
City of Sauk Centre, $29,500
City of West St. Paul, $25,000
City of Winona, $7,425

To date, EAB has been confirmed in 23 Minnesota counties. To see where EAB has been confirmed, visit the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s interactive map.

For more information, visit the DNR website or contact the DNR Community Forestry Grants Team at ucf.dnr@state.mn.us.