September 15, 2023

Congresswoman Lee Applauds POTUS Announcement of $9 Million in New Federal Funds for Urban Tree-Planting in California’s 12th District

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) applauded the Biden-Harris Administration for its announcement of $1 billion for direct federal support to local communities for urban tree-planting and management through the USDA Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program. Representative Lee’s district, CA-12, will receive a total of $9,000,000 in funding through the program, made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act.

“I am excited by this historic investment from the Biden-Harris Administration to substantially increase urban tree cover, boost equitable access to nature, and tackle the climate crisis,” said Rep. Lee. “Californians have had their lives disrupted by climate change, and it’s not going away without meaningful action. As temperatures continue to rise, the need to address harmful and often deadly heat—which disproportionately impacts people of color and low-income communities where there is less likely to be tree cover—is undeniable. The Forest Service is working to tackle this challenge using one powerful and simple solution: planting more trees in places that need it most. I thank the Biden-Harris Administration for this funding, and look forward to seeing a stronger, greener East Bay.”

Studies show that communities with access to trees and green spaces are associated with improved health outcomes, reduced crime, lower average temperatures, and an influx of other kinds of investments and new economic opportunities. Through funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, the Forest Service is making historic investments in boosting the nation’s tree cover in urban, suburban and rural communities nationwide. The agency has selected 385 grant proposals from entities that are working to increase equitable access to trees and green spaces, and the many benefits they provide. 100% of funding will flow to disadvantages communities, and funded proposals are located in all 50 states, two U.S. territories, three U.S. affiliated Pacific islands, and in several tribal communities.

These investments are part of the President’s Justice40 Initiative, which is advancing environmental justice by ensuring that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments reach disadvantaged communities that are marginalized and overburdened by pollution and underinvestment.

100 percent of this funding will flow to disadvantaged communities as identified by the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST).