La Grande is one of five communities across Oregon to receive a grant from Oregon Community Trees (OCT) to boost Arbor Week celebrations in April.

For the past few years, OCT’s grants committee has annually offered the no-match grants for up to $500. These grants are only available to cities which are currently designated a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation and have had that recognition for at least one year. La Grande has held the designation for 27 years.

La Grande has a goal of planting 100 shade trees each year. The city’s Urban Forestry Division relies on volunteers, their Community Landscape and Forestry Commissioners, and many local partners to make that happen. In addition to growing La Grande’s urban forest, these volunteers are ambassadors for La Grande’s city trees. OCT grant funds will be used to purchase T-shirts for the volunteers at the 2017 Arbor Day street tree planting event, to let them know how much their time and talent are appreciated.

OCT is a non-profit organization. It works with the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Urban and Community Forestry Assistance program to promote healthy urban and community forests through leadership, education, awareness, and advocacy. OCT grants typically help Oregon Tree Cities purchase banners, T-shirts, tree-planting equipment, refreshments, trees, and related items to make their celebrations have more impact and reach more people than they would have otherwise.
The four other communities winning grants this year are Central Point, Cottage Grove, and Rogue River and Sherwood.