Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan Announces Funding for Municipal Tree Plantings

Posted April 22, 2022

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan Announces that a Partnership Between the Department of the Environment and the Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District is Funding Tree Planting Initiatives in County Municipalities 

As Part of Earth Week 2022, Tree Planting Programs that Take Place Anytime in the 2022 Calendar Year are Eligible for Funding

KINGSTON, N.Y. - As part of Earth Week 2022, County Executive Pat Ryan announced that $11,000 in funding is available for municipal tree planting projects through a partnership between the Ulster County Department of the Environment and Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District. Four municipalities are currently lined up for planting events in 2022. The County is supplying trees and materials to municipalities or municipal groups, and the projects are being coordinated and implemented by the applicant. 

“Tree planting is a proven, tangible way for every community to take climate action – immediately helping to diminish carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and creating healthier, safer and more connected communities,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “I want to thank our Department of the Environment and the Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District for their partnership on this tree planting initiative, and encourage all Ulster County municipalities to apply for this program.”

“It has been a pleasure for the Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District to collaborate with the Ulster County Department of the Environment and participating municipalities. No one agency can do it alone,” Executive Director of the Ulster County Soil and Water Conservation District Jake Wedemeyer  said. “Our open collaboration has resulted in reducing soil erosion, planting a diverse species of trees within the county municipalities and contributing to reducing the impacts of climate change over the long term. Partnering with the Ulster County Department of the Environment has helped us provide ‘in the ground conservation practices’ for numerous municipalities.”

“The Town of Saugerties is a proud participant in this countywide municipal tree planting initiative and grateful to the County for its support of our efforts, which will not only enhance our town’s beauty but contribute positively to the health and economic vitality of our community,” Town Supervisor Fred Costello said. The Town of Saugerties will be planting 12 maple trees at Cantine Field with trees and mulch provided by the program. 

Last year, Climate Smart Gardiner organized Gardiner’s first-ever Arbor Day celebration and the planting of 300 trees with a $1,000 grant from the New York State Urban Forestry Council, and proposed an Arbor Day tree planting program to the County’s Department of the Environment. In 2022, the Department of the Environment will work with Kim Mayer and Climate Smart Gardiner to support another tree planting event, providing the public benefits of both greenhouse gas reduction and adaptation to climate change hazards.

For more information and instructions on municipal tree planting funding, find the application online. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Plantings can take place anytime in the 2022 calendar year, including but not limited to Arbor Day, which is April 29th, 2022.

On April 22nd, 2021, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, joined by environmental leaders from throughout the Hudson Valley, released his Green New Deal plan for Ulster County.  The report, consisting of over 30 goals and targets, makes Ulster County the first County in New York State and among the first in the nation to release a comprehensive Green New Deal plan. April 22nd, 2022, marks the one-year anniversary of Ulster County’s Green New Deal.

To kick off Earth Week 2022, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan welcomed New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to Ulster County to learn more about the progress Ulster County has made towards achieving its Green New Deal initiatives. The Executive and Comptroller discussed the growth in green jobs with members of organized labor, toured UCAT’s new electric buses, visited the nation's first net-zero commercial bakery at Bread Alone, and toured a community solar field in Saugerties.

Through key investments in the 2021 Executive Budget, Ulster County is ahead of schedule in achieving the goal set by County Executive Ryan as his first act on taking office - committing Ulster County to use 100% renewable electricity by 2030. In his 2020 Executive Budget, County Executive Ryan unveiled the Ulster County Green Careers Academy, a new eight-week training program, in partnership with SUNY Ulster, that delivers the skills and expertise necessary to begin careers in the expanding clean technology industry.

In February 2022, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced that Ulster County Area Transit (UCAT) put its first three electric buses on the road, which were purchased with funding from the New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program (NYTVIP), administered by New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA). The addition of three electric buses brings the number of green vehicles in Ulster County’s fleet to approximately 9% - major progress towards the County’s aggressive Green Fleet policy goal of 20% green by 2025 - with nine more buses scheduled to be replaced with electric buses in the coming years.