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PLNA e-News: Business Resources

Business Opportunity for Landscape Contractors Replacing Lawns

Wednesday, September 9, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has announced a program that provides grants to homeowners to replace lawns with meadows or upland forests. Funding is available for lawn conversion projects throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed in Pennsylvania. Funding is to be used on shovel-ready projects converting managed lawn to actively maintained upland forest or perennial native meadow.

Funding Details

Non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses (landscape contractors) are eligible to apply for funding as an Implementation Partner. Landowners must work with a non-profit organization or for-profit business to implement projects on their land. Upon successful completion of and approval of project documents, funding will be dispersed to the Implementation Partner. The Funding Contract and Landowner Agreement must be signed, and the Planting Plan approved by DCNR prior to funding disbursement.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. Funding amounts are offered on a flat per-acre basis: $5,000/acre for upland forests and $3,700/acre for perennial native meadows. Additional funds may be requested by submitting an additional justification and providing a detailed project budget.

Eligible Project Sites

Lawn Conversion projects must occur on lawn and other non-agricultural turf greater than or equal to 0.25 acre. Turf, or lawn, is an area of short, managed grasses making up a yard on a residential, commercial, school, or other property. Pastures, cropland, and sites with more than 30% existing overall canopy are ineligible for this program. Other instances may exist that make a project ineligible for this funding and DCNR will evaluate all projects to determine eligibility. Multiple contiguous properties may be combined into one project to meet minimum acreage required by the program, but each property must have its own landowner agreement and establishment plan.

Upland forest plantings are implemented outside of the riparian area (300-ft or further away from a waterbody); plantings 300-ft or closer to a waterbody are considered riparian forest buffers and must utilize a different funding source. Meadow establishments are primarily implemented outside of the riparian area but may be planted within it upon DCNR and WPC review.

For More Information

Click here for the detailed program guidelines or contact Kelsey Miller (she/her/hers), Community Engagement Specialist, Bureau of Forestry, 717.346.0079, c-kelmille@pa.gov for more information.


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