Senator Stabenow Announces $6 Million to Plant Trees in West Michigan and Combat the Climate Crisis

Senator Stabenow Secured this Funding Through the Inflation Reduction Act

Thursday, September 14, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today announced that several West Michigan communities will receive $6,000,000 to plant and maintain trees, combat the climate crisis, and provide more opportunities for those living in urban areas to enjoy nature. This funding is awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Urban and Community Forestry Program. Senator Stabenow was instrumental in securing these funds through the Inflation Reduction Act.

“Planting trees is more than just burying a plant in the ground. It’s about preserving our Michigan way of life for generations to come. Having more green space in a neighborhood helps lower temperatures in extreme heat and improves the health and well-being of those living in these communities,” said Senator Stabenow. “This historic investment will help West Michigan communities combat the climate crisis and create new economic opportunities.”

The USDA’s Urban and Community Forestry Program invests and partners with state and community tree groups to improve more than 140 million acres of urban and community forest across the United States. This program is also a part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which works to ensure that federal benefits reach disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution and underinvestment. It’s currently the only program in the federal government dedicated to enhancing and expanding the nation's urban forest resources.

Studies show that trees in communities are associated with improved physical and mental health, lower average temperatures during extreme heat, increased food security, and new economic opportunities.

The 2 grant projects include:

  • Forest Justice in Greater Grand Rapids, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks — $5,000,000                       
  • Growing A Greener Kalamazoo, City of Kalamazoo — $1,000,000                        

More information on USDA’s Urban and Community Forestry Program can be found here.