Urban tree plans are crucial, says White House adviser

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TL/DR –

The city of Charlotte will receive two grants totaling $1.1 million to preserve its tree canopy, according to Brenda Mallory, a top adviser to President Joe Biden. The funds, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s $1 billion nationwide program to counter urban heat and climate change, will be used to prune, preserve, remove and replant trees, especially in underserved areas. The city’s goal is to restore tree coverage to 50% of the city by 2050, despite currently losing an equivalent of three football fields of tree cover per day.


Charlotte Receives $1.1 Million in Grants to Fight Urban Heat and Climate Change

Charlotte will receive two grants worth $1.1 million to maintain its tree canopy in underserved areas, according to Brenda Mallory, a top adviser to President Joe Biden. Mallory was in Charlotte to promote the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nationwide tree plantation and maintenance program, which aims to combat urban heat and climate change.

Brenda Mallory

Communities with trees can be up to 17 degrees cooler than those without, helping to reduce heat, stabilize roots, minimize flooding, and decrease air pollution, Mallory explained. These benefits align perfectly with the fight against climate change.

The funds, sourced from last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, will allow Charlotte to prune, preserve, remove, and replant trees in its six designated Corridors of Opportunity. These are historically low-income areas where investment has been minimal.

The grants will be distributed to Canopy Care ($600,000) and Tree Maintenance ($500,000) programs as part of Charlotte’s long-term strategy to increase its tree coverage to 50% by 2050. Currently, the city is losing tree cover at a rate equivalent to three football fields a day, according to Mayor Vi Lyles.

Lyles said the grants necessitate more tree planting to achieve their goals, while Charlotte’s landscape division manager, Erin Olverio, announced an expansion of a pilot program in three neighborhoods throughout the corridors in 2024.

“The grants enable us to complete more maintenance and extend our reach to communities where we receive fewer service requests. We can help people in need care for and preserve their larger trees,” Olverio explained.

North Carolina will receive $9.2 million in total funding, with additional grants going to Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Cary. More information about the grants is available here.

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