Feds award Great Lakes area urban forest grants

TRAVERSE CITY (AP) – The U.S. Forest Service is awarding nearly $2.5 million worth of grants in six Great Lakes states for projects designed to improve urban forests and tree canopies in ways that will boost water quality.

It’s part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an Obama administration program attempting to make progress on longstanding environmental problems in the region.

Northeastern area director Tony Ferguson says the grants will put people to work restoring shoreland ecosystems, barren streets and polluted industrial sites.

Six grants totaling nearly $1.4 million will go to Michigan. They include funds for tree plantings and maintenance in the Detroit area, Grand Rapids, Flint, Southgate and Ann Arbor.