The Biden administration really wants people who don’t have access to trees to have access to trees in his new plan.
Here’s The Billion Dollar Plan
The Biden administration has recently announced a billion-dollar investment aimed at increasing access to trees and green spaces in disadvantaged urban communities across the United States.
This initiative is part of the administration’s drive towards environmental justice and seeks to enhance urban tree cover, promote equitable access to nature, and address the climate crisis.
The public funds will be distributed to community organizations, local and state governments, universities, and nonprofits working to increase tree cover in urban spaces while expanding equitable access to nature and enhancing resilience to climate impacts.
The administration claims that this program will enable all people, regardless of their ZIP code or neighborhood, to have equitable access to the benefits that trees and green spaces provide.
“This program is yet another way that the Biden-Harris Administration is investing in America and ensuring that all people have equitable access to the benefits that trees and green spaces provide,” said U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This grant funding will support local communities and partners who are working to advance environmental justice by mitigating the impact of climate change on communities who lack tree cover in urban spaces while giving kids more safe spaces to play outdoors.”
Forest Service Will Also Fund The Program
The USDA Forest Service is also allocating $250 million to further support local efforts in promoting equitable access to trees and the benefits they provide.
This allocation is part of the Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that lack access to trees and nature.
To determine where the trees get planted, the Biden administration has created a special engine called the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool.
This tool identifies communities that are experiencing the burdens of climate change, energy, health, housing, legacy pollution, transportation, water, and workforce development.
The government then determines where the trees get planted based on the tool’s findings.
The administration marked the availability of these new urban forest funds with a tree planting ceremony in Newark, New Jersey, this month.
The initiative has also garnered support from officials such as USDA Undersecretary for Natural Resources and the Environment Dr. Homer Wilkes and Forest Service Chief Randy Moore.
Biden to Offer $100M in “Environmental Justice Grants”
In addition to the billion-dollar investment in urban forests, the Biden administration is also offering $100 million in environmental justice grants, the largest amount ever offered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The money will help underserved and overburdened communities across the country. The president recently signed an executive order to revitalize the nation’s commitment to environmental justice, which includes the creation of a new Office of Environmental Justice within the White House and the mobilization of federal agencies to confront existing and legacy barriers and injustices.
The government also plans to make “historic investments in environmental justice” to promote equitable access to nature.
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