The City of Charlotte will get $1.1 million in federal funds to plant and preserve trees in historically underserved neighborhoods.
The money will come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service and will be spent to improve the canopy in Charlotte’s so-called “corridors of opportunity” — six communities with high levels of crime, poverty and unemployment.
The grant is part of a $1 billion national investment in urban and community forestry in all 50 states as well as several U.S. territories and tribal nations.
“This grant will undoubtedly leave a lasting, positive impact on our communities, fostering a sense of pride and unity as we work hand-in-hand toward a greener, more equitable future,” Monica Holmes, corridors of opportunity executive manager, said in a press release.
Why it matters: In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, neighborhood trees also yield tangible health benefits, removing pollutants from the air and storing billions of tons of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that exacerbates global warming.
Trees can also help reduce mental fatigue, stress and the risk of heat-related illness. They also reduce energy costs for houses and businesses and increase home values.
Charlotte’s funding will be divided to support two programs: a canopy care program and a tree maintenance program.
Officials said $600,000 will be spent to plant new trees, prune existing trees and remove hazardous trees within designated communities. The remaining $500,000 will go to maintain public tree health and to prepare sites for replacement trees.
Eligible property owners will be selected by Charlotte’s Landscape Management and Housing & Neighborhood Services, according to a press release from the City of Charlotte.