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Maine Forest Service: Project Canopy and GrowSmart Maine Announce New Outreach Partnership

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                    Maine Department of Conservation

          Bureau of Parks and Lands       Maine Forest Service

           Maine Geological Survey and Natural Areas Program

                         Land Use Regulation Commission

 

 

 

Media Advisory

 

Please deliver to the city or assignment editor

 

July 15, 2011

 

Contact:  Jan Ames Santerre, (207) 287-4987

Maine Forest Service: Project Canopy and GrowSmart Maine Announce New Outreach Partnership

AUGUSTA, Maine – Project Canopy, the Maine Forest Service’s urban and community forestry program, has formed a new partnership with GrowSmart Maine, a statewide community support organization, to provide the project’s outreach and communications functions.

The partnership, required under Project Canopy’s funding grant from the U.S. Forest Service, began this month. The relationship is expected to enhance Project Canopy’s education and outreach efforts throughout Maine’s communities, according to officials from both programs.

The first co-sponsored event – a training session in bio-surveillance for the invasive species, emerald ash borer (EAB) -- will take place later this month in Freeport, according to officials.

“GrowSmart Maine has a strong statewide emphasis on community planning, economic development and sustainable prosperity,” Jan Ames Santerre, MFS’s Project Canopy director, said. “The missions of both organizations are congruent. GrowSmart Maine has a really good understanding of how green space, municipal forests and local parks fit into vibrant communities. As a result, we think this partnership will be highly successful in supporting our goals.”

"We see Project Canopy as an important effort very much in line with our other efforts," Nancy Smith, GrowSmart Maine executive director, said.  "This is a statewide, community-based process encouraging and highlighting best practices related to urban and community forestry. We look forward to working closely with the Maine Forest Service and Project Canopy.”

Project Canopy, under MFS and the Maine Department of Conservation, is funded by the USDA Forest Service Community Forestry Assistance Program, which has as its mission the promotion of natural resource management in populated areas and the improvement of quality of life. The MFS program funnels community-forestry grants to Maine municipalities and sponsors a variety of outreach and educational programs.

GrowSmart Maine, founded in 2003 and based in Portland, focuses on community revitalization, working- and natural-landscape conservation and economic growth. The organization works with Maine communities in terms of planning, advocacy and application of “smart-growth” principles. According to its mission statement, the organization also promotes the concept of “quality of place” by convening and engaging in public conversations about Maine’s future, contributing common-sense policy analysis, educating the public, and supporting model practices.

Under the new, one-year grant partnership, Kimberly Ballard, GrowSmart office manager and membership coordinator, will become Project Canopy’s new outreach director. Her responsibility will be to provide increased communications and outreach for Project Canopy, including development and delivery of training programs for municipal staff and volunteers. She will work with community leaders to encourage planting and care of trees in Maine’s villages, downtowns and cities, and to promote management and public use of town forests.

Specifically, Ballard will work with MFS’s 10 field foresters on education and outreach and help identify communities for tree-planting projects, Santerre said. The outreach director also will recruit town volunteers and develop training programs for those volunteers and municipal public-works and park staff. In addition, she will edit the Project Canopy newsletter and handle its online presence.

The first joint event will be a wasp-watcher training program for Cerceris fumipennis, a native Maine wasp that hunts the highly destructive emerald ash borer that threatens Maine’s forests. The bio-surveillance training will be provided by Colleen Teerling, MFS entomologist.
The event will take place 1-2 p.m., Wednesday, July 27, at the baseball diamonds behind Freeport Middle School. A rain date has been scheduled for Friday, July 29. For more information, contact:
Kimberly R. Ballard, Office Manager
GrowSmart Maine
309 Cumberland Ave., Suite 202
Portland, ME  04101
207-699-4330 x3
 
For more information about Project Canopy, under the Maine Forest Service, go to: http://www.maine.gov/doc/mfs/projectcanopy/

For more information about GrowSmart Maine, go to: http://growsmartmaine.org/

For more information about bio-surveillance and the wasp-watcher effort, go to: http://www.maine.gov/doc/mfs/fhm/pages/HowToFindWasp.htm

            

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