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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Forestry > Programs > Community & Urban Forestry Community & Urban Forestry

PLEASE NOTE: In the fall of 2012, the Community & Urban Forestry Program's office moved.  There are many CUF publications on our website and some may have an old mailing address.  We are working to update them.  Our correct mailing address is shown at the bottom of this page. 

Community & Urban Forestry Mission

The Division's Urban Forestry Program provides statewide leadership to increase public awareness of the value of trees and associated natural resources in urban areas. We assist Indiana communities and encourage citizen involvement in protecting, expanding and improving our community forests.

Community & Urban Forestry Goals

  • Protect, enhance and expand urban forests and related natural resources.
  • Promote awareness of urban forestry issues which will result in increased broad-based support.
  • Improve the expertise of urban forestry practitioners.
  • Promote networking and partnership building among public and private entities.
  • Increase funding opportunities for urban forestry programs.

Upcoming workshops

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The Urban Forest

Urban forests are located on public and private land in cities and towns.   Over 80% of the urban forest is right in our own back yard. The trees in the urban forest provide benefits along our streets and highways, in  parking lots, public places, parks, urban woodlots, cemeteries, and other open spaces in a community.  As society becomes more urbanized and sprawls into rural areas, urban forests, wooded edges,  and woodlots in urban areas become an increasingly important resource. 

Urban forests provide economic, environmental, and psychological benefits. 

  • Economically, the management of urban forest and the jobs and services it relies on contributed nearly $2.05 billion to Indiana’s economy in 2004 (Center for Urban Policy and the Environment 2004).
  • Environmentally, they are the most crucial natural resource components of a community as they clean the air we breathe and the water we drink.
  • Psychologically, they contribute to reduced stress, less domestic violence, bring people together, and offer a sense of community.

Learn more

Services CUF Offers

Services offered to municipalities and non profits by the CUF Program include:

Visiting Urban Forester for a day, technical assistance, tree board assistance, workshops, grant dollars for urban forestry management, and help in becoming a Tree City USA.

Communities who choose to improve their urban forests may become a Tree City USA upon meeting these four standards:

  1. Pass a public tree care ordinance
  2. Appoint a tree board and city department to manage the tree care program
  3. Spend at least $2 per capita and
  4. Have an Arbor Day proclamation and event.

View Indiana’s Tree Cities

Indiana Community Tree Stewards

CUF offers a variety of workshops on various aspects of urban forestry and tree care throughout the year. The key ones are The Indiana Community Tree Steward course and the day long Basic Tree Care workshop.  Each is offered three times a year throughout the state. 

View Tree Steward Curriculum
View Basic Tree Care agenda

Community & Urban Forestry Grants

The CUF Program offers a variety of federal and corporate grants for urban forestry projects on PUBLIC property.  The dates for these grants and the projects funded are dependent on type and levels of funding.  The DoF/CUF Program has funded over 5 million dollars in grants since the programs inception.

For more information about funding for urban forestry projects,  contact the DNR, Division of Forestry, Urban Forestry Program at: 402 W. Washington St.--Rm. W296, Indianapolis, IN 46204 : 317-234-6568; E-mail: urbanforestry@dnr.IN.gov.

Our most recent grant recipients for Trees In Our Towns, Key To Our Health, awarded November 30, 2012