Woodstock to receive grant for tree canopy

For the third year in a row, the town of Woodstock will be a recipient of matching funds from the Virginia Department of Forestry’s Virginia Trees for Clean Water Grant.

According to Angela Clem, the town’s assistant town manager for administration, the town will be receiving $8,050 in a matching grant from the department of forestry.

The grant will work toward the town’s long-term Urban Tree Canopy Plan, with an immediate goal of starting a project along Route 42 in front of the Central High School athletic fields.

“We will be planting 27 street trees and 214 shrubs,” Clem said.

The idea, Clem said, is to make it a “layered system of shrubs” and trees stretching from the new Central High School sign to the railroad tracks.

“It’s sort of low-hanging fruit, because there aren’t any major overhead utilities and it’s adjacent to a great partner in the school system,” Clem said, adding that it helps that the grass in that area “can handle some trees.”

A news release from the department of forestry noted that $150,000 in grant funding was available this year, with no locality or project receiving more than $1,000-$10,000.

According to Clem, the Central High School planting is hopefully part of a larger “beautification” project along Route 42.

“Clearly, we cannot install and maintain that much plant material, and so we are starting with this section first,” Clem said. “We don’t have any immediate plans for the rest of Route 42.”

Along with the beautification element, Clem noted that this project — as well as the town’s long-term goals — will help conserve water quality.

The town will be submitting a price request “soon” in order to get a clearer indication of project costs.

Clem said the town has submitted permits with the Virginia Department of Transportation, since “a majority of the [project] planning will be on VDOT.”

However, Clem said the town will be in charge of the actual planting efforts and hopes “to involve some Central High School students as well.”

The planting, Clem said, is set to begin in early April, pending the return of the results from the price request.

“I’m hoping once we receive our price request, we’ll have an idea on when the plant materials can come in,” Clem said.

On receiving the grant funds for a third consecutive year, Clem said, “We have been really lucky … it’s a really great funding source that we hope does not go away.”

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kgreen@nvdaily.com