U.S. Department of Agriculture awards $6 million to Spokane Urban Forestry and $6 million to the Spokane Conservation District to improve Spokane’s Tree Canopy
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Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at 2:50 p.m.
SPOKANE – The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Spokane will receive $12 million in grants aimed at improving the tree canopy in our community.
Funds will be used to plant and care for trees in areas of Spokane where fewer exist to create more equitable canopy coverage, and provide community forestry education.
“This incredible funding will allow trees to be planted and cared for in areas of greatest need – a first tier priority in our Parks Master Plan,” said Garrett Jones, interim city administrator. “It also helps fulfill the City’s Sustainability Action Plan, which identified a need to increase the urban tree canopy.”
“We are really excited about the opportunity this opens up for our future stewards of the land,” said Garth Davis, Spokane Conservation District forestry manager. “It becomes a matter of bringing up a new generation of people who care for the land and teaching them the delicate balance of our natural resources and human interaction.”
Spokane’s portion of the grants will be divided amongst two key projects:
City of Spokane Urban Forestry - Tree Equity Spokane ($6 million)
The Tree Equity Spokane project will increase tree canopy cover and provide urgent care for trees in disadvantaged communities in Spokane. This project is part of SpoCanopy, a joint venture with City of Spokane Urban Forestry and The Lands Council, and aims to assist Spokane in achieving 30% canopy cover by 2030.
Spokane Conservation District - Spokane County Natural Resource Apprenticeship Program ($6 million)
This project will improve urban tree canopy and expand forestry career opportunities through hands-on urban and community forestry education programs. Learning opportunities will include summer education programs for local high school students with classroom-based environmental education and restoration fieldwork. This work aims to improve climate resiliency and public health in Spokane County and create new career pathways in under-resourced communities.
The funds are Urban and Community Forestry grants, authorized under the Inflation Reduction Act and part of a national $1 billion investment by the USDA to expand access to trees and green spaces. More information can be found at the USDA website.
About City of Spokane Parks & Recreation
City of Spokane Parks and Recreation stewards nearly 120 properties across 4,000 acres of park land, including manicured parks, natural lands, aquatic centers, golf courses, sports complexes, and an arboretum. We also offer hundreds of recreation opportunities for all ages and abilities to improve the health and quality of life for our community. Enjoy all your city has to offer by visiting spokaneparks.org. Follow us @SpokaneParks on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
About The Spokane Conservation District
Spokane Conservation District has been active in Spokane County since 1941. SCD develops and administers programs to facilitate sustainable land use and conservation practices to meet current needs while also planning resource use for the future. SCD recently purchased a 50-acre site, known as The Quarry, located in the Spokane Valley. The site is being developed into a conservation campus for residents to explore and learn about our projects and programs. More information is available at www.spokanecd.org. You can also find us @spokaneconservation on Facebook and Instagram.