As you read this blog post go to your music library and pull up your favorite version of Little Help From My Friends (personally, I like Joe Cocker’s rendition) because that’s what this story is all about.
One of our BFF’s here in Kent is Davey Tree. From trees to wetlands, the folks at Davey Tree (with their national headquarters campus located in our hometown) are not only experts in their field, they’re great neighbors who are always ready with a cup of sugar or in this case a little wetlands grant support when we need it.
Given their outstanding professional reputation it should be no surprise to learn that Davey Tree is well connected in environmental circles and they’ve offered to try to help plug Kent in to get some local wetlands protected under the National Wildlife Foundation’s Sustain Our Great Lakes Stewardship grant.
The National Wildlife Foundation describes the grant program as follows: “Sustain Our Great Lakes is a public–private partnership among ArcelorMittal, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Its mission is to sustain, restore and protect fish, wildlife and habitat in the Great Lakes basin by leveraging funding, building conservation capacity, and focusing partners and resources toward key ecological issues. The program achieves this mission, in part, by awarding grants for in-the-water/on-the-ground habitat restoration and enhancement. ”
That’s a fairly broad mission and the experts at Davey Tree think Kent has a great application for those funds. Here’s a letter from Davey Tree that got us all thinking:
Kent Parks and Rec Director John Idone in turn shared this information with me in an email that follows:
As we discussed I am forwarding to you the information regarding the Sustain our Great Lakes Stewardship grant opportunity. Kent Parks & Recreation has been interested in this project for several years. You may recall that the Ohio Wetlands Foundation had purchased the former Meeker Property along Fishcreek near Majors Lane. After the restoration they were going to turn the property over to the parks (city). Unfortunately, this project no longer became feasible from a wetlands bank perspective after the regulations were changed last year.
This is an exciting opportunity to piece together several parcels and make significant improvements to the riparian corridor along Fishcreek by removing invasive species and planting more desirable plant materials. The matching dollars for this grant will come from outside sources and we are not asking the City of Kent for any matching dollars. Your permission to proceed to file a pre-application is requested which has a deadline of February 14, 2011. This is not binding and the full proposal is due April 21, 2011. This project is an excellent collaboration between non-profits, local business and city government.
I encouraged John to apply and while there are never any guarantees in the grant world, I thought the degree of collaboration between Davey Tree and the City to pursue funds to protect our natural resources was newsworthy whether we get the grant or not.
Green is one of Kent’s favorite colors so go get your green on and play Little Help From My Friends — then if we actually get the grant award you’ll be ready to dance a jig along with us.