NEW YORK (WWTI) – Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program awarded New York State $13.5 million.

This award is to increase equitable access to trees and green spaces in urban and community forests supporting the building of a clean energy economy, advance environmental justice and create economic opportunity.

“New York’s urban and community forests play an extremely important role in our environment and ensuring that all neighborhoods and communities have access to the benefits that trees provide, including in addressing the threats of our changing climate,”

Governor Kathy Hochul

Funded through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, this funding for NY is part of a $1.5 billion federal investment in Urban and Community Forestry projects across the country, including more than $73.5 million for 28 forestry projects across the state. NY’s $13.5 million allocation will be managed by the State Department of Environmental Conservation and provide grant opportunities through the State’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.

This funding highlights the importance of urban forests in fighting climate change by:

  • Cooling air, buildings and pavement;
  • Reducing stormwater runoff;
  • Improving air quality; and more.

a virtual information session held by DEC on Tuesday, October 24 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. to provide information on the new funding. Interested individuals can register Here and the information session will cover:

  • Eligible applicants and projects;
  • Application requirements and scoring; and
  • Other information that will help applicants plan their projects.

Along with this funding, nearly $13 million from the IRA was secured and DEC will soon be opening a grant application period for that funding. Ten million dollars of the funding will support Community Forest Management Plan Implementation and $2.9 million will support Ash Tree Management — the remainder of the grant will support administration. The maximum request is $500,000 per application, the open application period for the grant opportunity will be announced in the coming weeks.