Defensible Space Grant

New Grant for Open Space & Private Property Defensible Space Work

Thanks to a previous $99,100 state grant, 42 homes in Genesee stand a better chance of withstanding wildfire. And the community, as a whole, benefits from steps these homeowners took to create defensible space. The funds from this grant, which was open to all Genesee residents, have now been fully committed.  Forty-two projects have been completed; funding for four additional projects has been set aside.  Plans call for completing these projects by summer 2016. Homeowners took a variety of steps to create a safer scenario in the event of wildfire, including:  limbing trees to within six to eight feet of the ground, removing yard debris, relocating wood piles, thinning trees to create 15 feet between tree crowns, and installing fire resistant materials like crushed rock around home perimeters.  All of the tree work, which totaled $164,500, was eligible for a 50 percent reimbursement from the grant. Individual homeowner’s reimbursements ranged from $340 to $5,700; the average reimbursement was $1,788.

The Genesee Fire & Safety Committee is also looking into other ways to encourage more homeowners to become involved in mitigation efforts.  These include educational programs, and cost-saving initiatives such as the community-wide slash pickups and group discounts on other services. Check this Web site, The Genescene newsletter and periodic e-mail blasts for information.

A forest restoration grant was recently received through the State of Colorado which outlines an additional $24,000 in grant funds dedicated to creating private property defensible space in the community. This grant is a 60/40 grant fund, which means once the homeowner completes the work, 60 percent of the eligible funds spent by the homeowner will be reimbursed.  Using averages from previous work, it is estimated an additional 15-20 properties will be able to take advantage of this grant funding. The grant comes at a time when many insurance companies are requiring mitigation and legislative initiatives to encourage, if not mandate, defensible space.

  1. Matching funds will be committed in the order in which completed applications are received.  
  2. To participate in the grant, residents must first pay for a defensible space plan (cost varies from about $75 to $600) and get at least two bids for doing the required tree work. You will be informed, before you begin the tree work, whether there are sufficient grant funds left to provide your 60 percent reimbursement (covering the cost of the defensible space plan and the tree removal work).  If funds are available, and you want to go forward, GFSC we will put a "virtual hold" that assures you of reimbursement, assuming the work is completed in a timely fashion.
  3. Detailed instructions for grant participation are found by clicking “60-40 Forest Restoration Grant Instruction Package” below.

There is a risk that, if the grant money has been depleted when you submit your funding request, the cost of your defensible space plan will not be eligible for cost-share reimbursement. For more information, of if you have questions, please contact geneseefiresafety@gmail.com or Robert Elliott (robert@geneseefoundation.org or 303-526-9463).