Nebraska program offers grants to plant trees

Communities and other public groups in Nebraska are now eligible for grant money to plant shade trees. The program coordinated by the Nebraska Forest Service is open for applications until Oct. 1. Eligible sites include parks, schools, college campuses, libraries, courthouses, and other public-oriented groups.

Private properties may qualify if they provide a clear public benefit. All projects must be located in or near an incorporated Nebraska community. The Trees for Nebraska Towns funding is provided by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, a beneficiary of the Nebraska Lottery.

 It's part of a 10-year effort to plant 1 million trees by 2017. Applications are available at www.retreenebraska.unl.edu. Grant coordinators say applicants should start the process early.