The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing $900,000 in funding to demonstrate how healthy urban forests can increase public health benefits, improve development and redevelopment efforts, and contribute to urban food production.
“As our urban communities grow and confront rapid development and climate change, urban trees will be more important than ever by providing rich habitats, capturing storm water and helping provide clean air and water,” said Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.
The United States’ urban trees store more than 708 million tons of carbon. Urban trees further reduce emissions by lowering electricity demand for summer air conditioning and winter heating. Well-maintained urban forests can help address climate and extreme weather impacts by reducing storm water runoff, buffering high winds, controlling erosion and minimizing the impacts of drought. Urban forests also provide critical social and cultural benefits providing places for people to recreate and gather with their communities.
- State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, A Decision Support System to Develop, Analyze, and Optimize Urban and Community Forests: $285,340 to create a decision support system for i-Tree Landscape.
- Earth Learning, Inc., Community Food Forestry Initiative: $175,627 to address tree canopy loss due to re-development by providing resources to integrate food-producing trees and plants into the urban landscape.
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dept. of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, Urban Forestry’s Return On Investment Tying Residential Nature To Health Care Expenditures: $278,383 to document the effects of urban and community forests on health care .
- Georgia State University, The Impact of Natural Environments on Symptom Expression in Children with Autism: $160,650 to research the impact of nature on symptom severity in children with autism.
Recipients are committing an additional $1.1 million to their projects bringing the total investment to $2 million.
NewTerrain August 1, 2016.