BOSTON – The Healey-Driscoll Administration announced that Massachusetts communities have received more than $22 million in funding from the USDA Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program. The funding comes from a competitive grant program designed to plant and maintain trees, combat extreme heat and climate change, and improve access to nature in communities across the country. The projects include plans to plant more than 15,000 trees in Springfield, fund an urban forestry fellowship in Lynn, improve public health for vulnerable populations in Fall River through an expanded tree canopy, and advance social inclusion and workforce development through community forestry in the Boston neighborhoods of Chinatown, East Boston, Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury.
“We are incredibly excited to see Massachusetts cities and towns receive the funding they need to proactively expand green space in environmental justice communities across the Commonwealth,” said Governor Maura Healey. “We are committed to continuing to partner with these municipalities as they put their federal money to work improving public health and increasing access to opportunity for the people of Massachusetts.”
“This summer’s extreme temperatures have shown that our cities and towns are on the front lines of responding to the impacts of climate change. We’re proud to see these communities leading the charge in implementing climate resilient measures that will ensure a healthier, more equitable Massachusetts,” said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rebecca Tepper. “Congratulations to the communities receiving this important funding to support their urban forestry programs.”
“The funding provided through the Urban and Community Forestry program is critical for these cities and towns to address some of their most pressing needs around public health, workforce development and climate resiliency through increasing access to green space,” said Director of Federal Funds & Infrastructure Quentin Palfrey. “The Commonwealth looks forward to continuing our aggressive pursuit of federal funding opportunities that will deliver for communities all across Massachusetts.”
Massachusetts Projects Awarded Funding by the USDA:
City of Boston- Healthy Places Boston: Growing an Accessible, Inclusive and Resilient Urban Forest
City of Holyoke- Urban Forest Equity Plan Implementation
City of Fall River- Fall River Urban Tree Canopy Expansion Initiative
City of Haverhill- Investing in Haverhill’s Urban Forest with Equity and Resilience
City of Lynn- Urban Forestry Fellowship: Supporting a Healthy Tree Canopy
City of Quincy- Urban Forest Climate Resiliency & Equity Plan
City of Watertown- Tree Planting
Springfield Forestry Division- Springfield “Speaks for the Trees” Revitalizing Urban Tree Canopy in Underserved Communities
Town of Southbridge- Implement an Urban and Community Forestry Program
The nine Massachusetts grant awards are part of more than $1 billion in funding the US Department of Agriculture awarded to 385 applicants nationwide. The investment was made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Biden in 2022 and is one of many programs available to support projects that will advance priorities for statewide decarbonization and climate resilience.