Hudson is among 30 Wisconsin communities, nonprofits and counties to share more than half a million dollars in state grants to promote and sustain urban forest resources in the state.

The city of Hudson was awarded $24,095.51, at the top of the award range spanning from $1,000 to $25,000.

Hudson will use the grant to fund a variety of urban forest projects including the Tree Trek program near EP Rock Elementary, updating the city's tree ordinance, developing an urban forest management plan, stocking the gravel bed nursery with 100 trees and offsetting the costs for the trade-a-tree program.

The grant will also help with the removal and treatment of ash trees after Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was found in the city this past summer.

"Anytime the city can receive grants to assist management efforts of EAB is a big win for the city," Public Works Director Mike Mroz said. "We look forward to working with the Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry Division, especially now that EAB has been confirmed within city limits."

The Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant program funds projects that are consistent with state and national goals for increasing the urban forest canopy and the benefits it provides. The urban forest encompasses trees on both public and private property.

Priorities for the 2019 grant cycle included, but were not limited to, projects that increase the ability of local municipal partners to expand their urban forestry program; increase the ability of all local partners to provide ongoing urban forestry funding, services and/or markets; benefit multiple communities; and put existing inventories of urban trees to use.

"Wisconsin's urban forests provide a wide range of ecological, economic and social benefits for the 70 percent of Wisconsin's population that lives in an urban area and visitors to these communities," said Sarah Zimmerman, DNR urban forestry grant manager. "Beyond aesthetics, urban forests reduce air pollution, mitigate stormwater runoff, conserve energy, and increase property values. The 2019 urban forest grants help communities maximize these benefits."

DNR forestry officials encouraged communities to apply for grants to develop emerald ash borer management plans and raise public awareness regarding its impact on ash trees in their community. Increasing species diversity is the best way to reduce the impact of future tree diseases or insect infestations.