Bay Area communities receive millions in federal grants to plant trees and beat extreme heat

WASHINGTON – Communities across California, including many in the Bay Area, are receiving more than $100 million in federal grants to plant and maintain trees to mitigate the effects of extreme heat.

Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla announced Friday that the U.S. Forest Service has awarded $102,873,146 in grants to 43 recipients in the Golden State. The money came from an inflation-reducing law passed last year.

“As extreme temperatures increasingly threaten the safety of workers and communities across California, expanding access to shade and green spaces is more important than ever,” Padilla said.

“Planting trees is one of the best tools we have to combat climate change and protect residents from extreme heat, yet many of our urban areas lack adequate tree canopies,” Feinstein said. “This grant funding will help more cities and towns plant and conserve trees, which in turn will filter out pollution, reduce energy consumption, lower temperatures and enable more Californians to access green spaces in their communities.”

Among the notable awards, the City of San Francisco’s Office of Urban Forestry Public Works received $12 million, the largest single award among California awardees. The office intends to use the funds to plant thousands of street trees in “low canopy communities” and create green jobs.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department is receiving $2 million for a “canopy management plan” for parks in the southeastern part of the city. Part of the plan includes developing a workforce pre-training program to employ and train local residents to plant and maintain city trees.

In Oakland, the city is receiving an $8 million grant to increase tree canopy on public and private lands, address deferred tree maintenance, and create jobs.

The City of San Jose received two grants, including a $5.6 million grant for the Community Forestry Investment Project. Officials hope to take control of the maintenance of all public trees, plant 3,000 new trees and better manage existing community trees.

An additional $1 million grant aims to manage vegetation and reduce wildfire risk in Alum Rock Park, along with pruning in the Overfelt Gardens.

Other Bay Area cities receiving grants include Berkeley, Concord, Fremont, Hayward, Petaluma, Pittsburgh, Vallejo and Walnut Creek. The complete list of California scholarships can be found here.

Nationally, the US Forest Service has awarded $1 billion in tree planting grants to projects in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

(Tags for translation)San Jose

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