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To lessen extreme heat and improve health, the federal government has allocated $1 billion for tree planting projects in US cities

By 09/14/2023 1:01 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


Under a government program designed to lessen excessive heat, promote health, and increase access to nature, hundreds of communities around the nation will split more than $1 billion in federal funding to assist them in planting and maintaining trees.

Tom Vilsack, the secretary of the Department of Agriculture, will make the grant announcement on Thursday morning in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for 385 projects totaling $1.13 billion.

In addition to all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and several tribal nations, efforts to plant trees will be concentrated in underserved areas.

During a press conference to preview his announcement, Vilsack said, “We believe we can develop more resilient communities in terms of the impacts of climate change. “We believe we can reduce incidents and events related to extreme heat in many of the cities.”

Vilsack will highlight the funds in Cedar Rapids, a 135,000-person community in eastern Iowa, where a severe windstorm in the summer of 2020 caused thousands of trees to be lost.

Since that storm, known as a derecho, Cedar Rapids has prioritized the rebuilding of its tree canopy and will get $6 million in support from the new grants.

Some of the biggest cities in the country, such as New York, Houston, and Los Angeles, as well as much smaller towns like Tarpon Springs, Florida, and Hutchinson, Kansas, are also recipients of grants.

Vilsack intended to attend the Iowa event with Brenda Mallory, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

She previously told reporters that underrepresented and underprivileged populations often lack access to nature and that all of the tree donations would help address this problem.

Mallory opined that everyone ought to have access to nature. “Urban forests can really play a key role in ensuring both that access and also increasing the climate resilience of communities, helping to reduce extreme heat, and making communities more livable,” says Dr. David R. Smith.

The Inflation Reduction Act is where the federal funding comes from.


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