2023 ReLeaf Grant

Over $6.883 million in new funding was made available by the Minnesota Legislature to enhance community forest health that will encourage and promote the inventory, planting, assessment, maintenance, improvement, protection, and restoration of trees and forest resources.

Eligible applicants included non-profit organizations with 501(c) status and local units of government in Minnesota, including cities, counties, regional authorities, joint powers boards, towns, soil and water conservation districts, public schools and tribal nations. Parks and recreation boards in cities of the first class were also eligible to apply.
Priority was given to:

  • Credentialed professional tree care staff. This includes contract, city, or organization staff working on the project.
  • Those who prioritize emerald ash borer, especially removing and replacing ash trees that pose significant safety concerns.
  • Benefit underserved populations and areas of concern for environmental justice, such as communities with higher populations of low-income residents, people of color, tribal communities, or both.
  • Maintain or increase tree canopy cover.
  • Communities with populations less than 20,000.

The City of Detroit Lakes applied for this grant and was awarded over $61,000 in funds to aid in tree planting and canopy coverage over the next three years. The City is dedicated to planting trees within city limits based on multiple factors including results from a community survey, a map of underserved areas in regards to income, planting suggestions, and community events in the next couple of years.

In 2025, more trees will be planted in the food forest at South Shore Park. In 2026 trees are tentatively planned to be planted along Long Lake Road, and 140 trees will be given to residents interested in planting one on their property. The tree is of no cost, but proper care of said tree will be required.