NH Congressional Delegation gives $2.2 million for Manchester urban forest initiative

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Urban Forestry Program.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) as well as U.S. Representatives Chris Pappas (D-NH-01) and Annie Kuster (D-NH-02) announced that $2,277,742 has been allocated to the City of Manchester’s Urban Forest Equity Planning and Implementation Project.

The grant was made possible through funding from the Inflation Reduction Act allocated to the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.

“I’m thrilled that this investment from the Inflation Reduction Act is going to help cities in New Hampshire add more trees to provide shade during increasingly hot summers, clean the air and enrich the lives of Granite Staters,” said Shaheen. “This funding will make landmark investments in New Hampshire and expand access to green spaces.”

“The Granite State’s beautiful natural resources are critical to New Hampshire’s character, economy, and way of life,” said Hassan. “This important funding will help expand access to trees and green spaces, providing cleaner air for people to breathe, cooler city streets, and more opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors.”

“Our communities are made stronger when we invest in our public spaces,” said Kuster. “I’m thrilled to see this funding from the Inflation Reduction Act heading to New Hampshire to bring the benefits of green spaces to our cities and make the most of the incredible outdoor resources we have. From cooling streets in the summer to improving air quality year round, I look forward to seeing the positive impact of these projects!”

“Protecting our natural environment has tremendous benefits for New Hampshire’s way of life and economy,” said Pappas. “I was proud to pass the Inflation Reduction Act to secure these funds that will expand access to green spaces across our state and bolster the well-being of our local communities. I’ll continue working to ensure that New Hampshire is a great place to live, visit, and do business.”

“The City of Manchester has made clear that we’re leading the way in efforts to create a more equitable and sustainable future for our community, and this $2.2 million USDA grant will be vital in our work,” said Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig. “The trees planted with these funds will be a game-changer in promoting cleaner air, much-needed shade and enhanced overall well-being in our neighborhoods with the greatest need. Thank you to our federal delegation, the Biden Administration, USDA officials, and additional partners for their support of our vision. I look forward to all that the future holds and am eager to continue building on our strong partnerships to deliver historic progress for residents.”

“This is a game-changer for Manchester,” said Mark Gomez, whose Parks, Recreation & Cemetery Division oversees the City’s urban forestry unit. “We are ecstatic about what this means for quality of life in Manchester and the healthy expansion of our tree canopy.”

“This award is a testament to the commitment of Manchester to create a more equitable and sustainable urban environment,” said CLF Environmental Justice Advocate Arnold Mikolo. “Urban forests provide critical shade during heatwaves, help control stormwater, and provide a habitat for animals. By maximizing community access to these benefits, this initiative promises to transform the quality of life for residents and enhance the city’s ecological and economic sustainability for years to come.”

“This transformational project will use nature as a tool to start to re-balance the historical inequities caused by polluted water and air, and extreme heat,” said TNC’s Climate Adaptation Manager Matthew Thorne. We are proud to stand with the City of Manchester in this massive step towards leveraging the power of trees and urban forests for the health of people and wildlife in the northern New England’s most populated city. It is also smart economics and we look forward to seeing the workforce opportunities created through this exciting project.”

Key Components of the Project Include:

1. Tree Planting & Maintenance: The grant will fund the planting and maintenance of trees throughout Manchester’s disadvantaged neighborhoods, promoting cleaner air, improved aesthetics, and enhanced overall well-being for residents.

2. Restoration & Resilience: Manchester will undertake extensive efforts to restore and fortify its urban forests against environmental challenges, such as extreme weather events, ensuring the longevity and vitality of the city’s green spaces.

3. Workforce Development: This initiative will create employment opportunities and workforce development programs, fostering skill-building and job opportunities for community members in the field of urban forestry.

4. Planning & Community Engagement: The project emphasizes community involvement in decision-making processes related to urban forestry. Residents will have the opportunity to contribute to the planning and implementation of tree-planting initiatives in their neighborhoods.

5. Extreme Heat Mitigation: The project will actively address the growing concern of extreme heat in urban areas by strategically planting trees to provide shade and reduce heat island effects, making Manchester a cooler and more comfortable place to live.

The Urban and Community Forestry Program is the only program in the federal government dedicated to enhancing and expanding the nation’s urban forest resources. This is the largest single USDA Inflation Reduction Act investment to date in urban and community forests.

The City of Lebanon’s NH Green Streets Initiative will receive $244,275 as part of the allocation.


 

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About this Author

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.