The Maine Downtown Center and the Maine Forest Service’s Project Canopy program are pleased to announce five MDC communities are receiving grants for tree planting projects in their downtowns. The MDC and Project Canopy funds require a local match and support local efforts.


Grants are being awarded to the city of Saco for elm trees and Japanese lilacs along the Route 1 business district; to Norway Downtown for additional trees in downtown; to the city of Belfast for red maples as part of the city’s Harbor Walk project; and to the city of Bath for a total of 45 trees in eight separate planting projects throughout the downtown. Other grant applications are still pending review.


The recipients were announced to a record number of attendees at MDC’s Downtown Institute session “Green Design, Good Design: Historic Preservation and Smart Energy Solutions.” MDC received a $50,000 grant from the Environmental Funders Network’s Quality of Place Initiative to support its Green Downtowns program, now in its third year. The Green Downtowns program was created to strengthen the link between the natural and built environments in Maine’s downtowns, making them more environmentally friendly and ecologically conscious and building local leadership and capacity to support sustainable green initiatives.


EFN’s collaborative funding initiative, “From Vision to Action: A Commitment to Maine’s Quality of Place” seeks to support projects that strengthen the link between the natural and built environments, emphasize public engagement, and take seriously the process and action elements required to build and sustain collaborations.


A collaboration between the Maine Forest Service and GrowSmart Maine, Project Canopy is Maine’s urban and community forestry program. Project Canopy’s mission is to create and maintain healthy urban and community forests for the economic, ecological and quality of life benefits for Mainers.

Project Canopy works to keep Maine’s communities green and livable by working with municipalities and non-profits to help manage public tree resources. Through its grant program and technical assistance, Project Canopy promotes planting and maintaining of trees in Maine communities. Through projects such as supporting planting street trees downtown or a management plan development for town forests, Project Canopy works to help Maine communities stay leafy and green.