Boise is known as the City of Trees and thanks to a new grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, the city’s ambitious tree planting goals will accelerate. The grant, awarded to the City of Boise and Treasure Valley Canopy Network team this month, provides $1.076 million in funding to support the growth and expansion of the Elaine Clegg City of Trees Challenge and Boise Tree Captains program. The money is part of a historic $1.5 billion investment from the Biden-Harris Administration in urban and community forestry across the United States.
“This is an incredible investment in our local environmental economy and an award that will directly impact clean air and clean water for Boiseans in every corner of our city,” said Mayor Lauren McLean. “It is evidence that our team’s innovative approach to tree planting and tree equity through the City of Trees Challenge is making a positive impact – giving residents a way to take climate action at home.”
All grant funding will be administered through the Treasure Valley Canopy Network (TVCN), a local organization that specializes in sustainable development of the Treasure Valley’s urban forest.
City of Boise staff worked closely with the TVCN and local partners to submit a regional proposal focused heavily on providing trees for private property owners in underserved areas across the Treasure Valley as designated by the White House’s Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool.
Grant funding will be allocated to various tree planting efforts and programs over the next five years. It will be used to scale up the Boise Tree Captains program, plant trees, decrease the effect of urban heat islands, provide cleaner air and water, and increase environmental equity and access throughout Boise and surrounding communities. Strategies the money will support include:
- Planting more than 3,000 urban trees in specifically targeted neighborhoods across Boise and the Treasure Valley
- Pruning and removal of dying or damaged trees to improve urban forest health and resilience in designated neighborhoods of greatest need
- Engaging residents and community members in the soon-to-be expanded Treasure Valley Tree Captains program, resulting in grassroots citizen climate action and long-term health and resilience of our region’s urban forest
“Since the City of Trees Challenge launched on Arbor Day in 2020, we have been working to plan for, plant and grow trees in underserved areas across Boise,” said Lance Davisson, Executive Director of the Treasure Valley Canopy Network. “This major grant allows us to deepen our roots in the community and expand not only our tree planting efforts, but our volunteer programs and tree care education efforts to ensure the community’s urban trees thrive.”
To learn more about the Elaine Clegg City of Trees Challenge and how to get involved, click here.