Community Application

Applications are now being accepted for the 2020 Spring planting season.


Trees must be planted in public spaces such as parks, schools, churches and along public roadway easements within northwest Indiana’s Lake Michigan Watershed (MAP). Eligible applicants include municipalities, schools, churches, conservation organizations and other public entities.


NIRPC’s current US Forest Service grant used to purchase and subaward these trees has a 20% non-federal local match requirement. Applicants must be willing to track and submit in-kind services directly attributable to the planting and care of these trees. In general, NIRPC has found that the hours spent planting and watering during the growing season accounts for match requirements. You can download a copy of the CommuniTree in-kind tracking sheet HERE.

Time Line

Application Due Date:  Friday, February 21, 2020

Anticipated Notice of Award Date:  Friday, March 20, 2020

Anticipated Tree Planting & Care Workshop and tree pick up date: Wednesday, April 1, 2020 (Really, No Fooling!)


Forms:  PDF (fillable)  | WORD

Applications may be submitted electronically to Joe Exl at Please include organization name followed by CommuniTree Spring 2020 Application in the subject line. (Example: Porter County SWCD CommuniTree Spring 2020 Application)

Alternatively, applications can be mailed to:

Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission
ATTN: Joe Exl
6100 Southport Rd.
Portage, IN 46368

Tree Maintenance Agreement

The first three years following planting are critical to the tree’s establishment and health. Applicants receiving trees must agree to a two-year water program. The trees generally need to be watered on a weekly basis, 5-15 gallons per tree depending on soils, during the growing season. Extended drought conditions may require a third year for establishment. Two to four inches of mulch needs to be applied at planting and checked each year. Click the following link to download a copy of the USDA Forest Service Tree Owner’s Manual for more information on tree planting and maintenance.

Program Goal & Funding

We’ve had to increase our tree planting by 2020 goal! To date, nearly 2,000 trees have been sub-awarded to communities and public organizations in Northwest Indiana’s Lake Michigan watershed. Thank you to everyone that made this possible. The CommuniTree Program’s new goal is to plant 3,000 native trees by 2020. That’s twice as many as we originally anticipated when the program kicked off in 2017.

Funding for this project is made possible through a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant awarded to the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission by the USDA Forest Service.