Urban & Community Forestry

Under the authority of the Urban Forestry Act (PRC 4799.06 - 4799.12 the Urban & Community Forestry Program (UCF) works to expand and improve the management of trees and related vegetation in communities throughout California.

The mission of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's Urban Forestry Program is to lead the effort to advance the development of sustainable urban and community forests in California. Trees provide energy conservation, reduction of storm-water runoff, extend the life of surface streets, improve local air, soil and water quality, reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, improve public health, provide wildlife habitat and increase property values. In short, they improve the quality of life in our urban environments which, increasingly, are where Californians live, work, and play.  The program also administers State and Federal grants throughout California communities to advance urban forestry efforts.

Upcoming UCF Webinars

CAL FIRE's Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) staff are hosting 2 webinars for Green Schoolyards Grants and 2 webinars for UCF Grants (including Urban Forest Expansion and Improvement, Urban Forest Management Activities, Education and Workforce Development, and Urban Wood and Biomass Utilization). Join us for a presentation on grant expectations and Q&A session.

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Webinars for Green Schoolyards Grants:

Webinars for UCF Grants:

Grant Guidelines Now Closed for Public Comment

2022/2023 Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) Program Grant Guidelines and 2022/2023 Green Schoolyard Grant Guidelines are now closed for public comment. Thank you for sharing your constructive comments and feedback. Final drafts of both guidelines will be posted on the website soon. Sign up for our listserv for announcements on open application periods and upcoming webinars.

The deadline for Green Schoolyard Grant Applications and UCF Grant Concept Proposals is March 31, 2023.

Technical Assistance 

UCF staff serve as technical experts in urban forestry. The statewide team supports organizations that focus on improving urban forests and stakeholders such as municipalities, counties, schools and special districts, non-profit organizations, advisory or advocacy groups, other state agencies, research institutions, and individuals/volunteers. CAL FIRE also works closely with partner organizations who provide technical assistance to individuals.

Equity, Education, & Outreach

The UCF Program administers, delivers, or substantially participates in statewide programs.  These include Project Learning Tree, Tree City USA, Arbor Day events, the California Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO) and associated water conservation outreach, Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, workforce development, tree care industry standards updates, promoting public/private partnerships, and encouraging urban dwellers to develop a stewardship ethic for natural resources. The UCF Program strives to improve equity in California’s urban forest resources by proactively engaging and supporting disadvantaged and low-income communities.

Grant Administration 

UCF staff administer and provide technical support for grant-related activities such as tree planting, municipal tree inventories, management plans, urban forest educational efforts, and innovative urban forestry projects.  As of January 2022, the UCF Program is administering or preparing to award approximately 117 grants funded by State sources (California Climate Investments (CCI), bonds, and General Fund) and 12 sub-grants using Federal sources (US Forest Service).