Viles Arboretum Awarded Grant for Innovative "Forest of the Future" Research and Education Project

Viles Arboretum is proud to announce that it has been awarded a grant from the 2023 Project Canopy Planning and Education Grant Program to support its groundbreaking “Forest of the Future” research and education project. This innovative project, developed in partnership with the Waldo County Soil and Water Conservation District, NRCS, and others, will showcase crucial land management concepts and technologies defining Maine's future woodlands, particularly as the State adapts to the impacts of climate change.

The Forest of the Future project will feature three distinct planting sites designed to take visitors through an immersive, place-based journey into the practices and technologies that shape Maine's woodlands. The three planting sites are:

  • Transgenic Chestnut garden - Demonstrating how gene editing technology can create disease resistance and enable the restoration of a keystone species.
  • Climate-Smart Tree Farm - Facilitating research exploring tree species that may perform better in Maine's warming climate and demonstrating climate-smart forestry practices.
  • A Research Grove - Initiating a planting of 140 trees of 14 species to gather critical data on cultivars best suited for Maine's warming climate.



Viles Arboretum Executive Director, Ryan Martin, expressed his gratitude for the grant: "We are thrilled to receive this grant and continue our relationship with the Maine State Forest Service. The Forest of the Future project will help us to advance sustainable urban and community forestry management and provide valuable educational opportunities for the public."

The project is expected to launch in Spring 2023 and will be completed by Winter 2025. It will contribute to Project Canopy and USDA Forest Service goals by promoting sustainable resource management of community forests, increasing public awareness, creating and maintaining partnerships, and applying knowledge globally.

For more information about the Forest of the Future project, CLICK HERE.

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