Emerald Ash Borer Grant

City receives grant for ash tree removal

The City of North St. Paul was awarded a grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for $400,000 to address ash trees impacted by the emerald ash borer. The majority of the funds are directed for tree removal in the public right-of-way and other City-owned parcels including parks. A portion of the funds must be set aside for private tree removals for residents meeting certain income requirements.

The grant’s primary goal is to fund the removal of ash trees and reforestation of a variety trees along the boulevards and parks located within the City. The grant specifies that each public-owned ash tree removed must be replaced with a newly planted tree. Currently, the City has an estimated 550 remaining ash trees on the boulevards and in the parks. Grant funds will be used for the removal and replanting of 250 trees to help keep pace with the rapid decline of ash trees within the City. The removal and replanting of 250 trees is estimated to cost $300,000. The City will assign $100,000 of the grant funds to reimburse low-income residents for the removal of their private ash trees up to $5,000 per eligible address.

Per the grant, all work must be complete, paid for and submitted for reimbursement by June 30, 2027. The grant will not fund the purchase of trees that are over-represented in the community. Any tree that comprises 10% or more of the community forest makeup will not be funded.  The City Forester, Josh Bond, will work with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to select replacement tree species.

The Public Works Director and the Finance Director are preparing a proposal for Council consideration later this month that will include the formal acceptance of the grant as well as the criteria and process for low-income residents to apply for grant funding.

Watch the Council agenda as well as the City’s website, newsletter and social media for program updates.