Updates & Blog

USDA invests $1 billion nationwide to expand community access to trees and green spaces

U.S. Forest Service – Region 8
Group of children playing and running in a natural area of a local park.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today the USDA Forest Service is investing more than $1 billion in nearly 400 projects nationwide to increase access to trees and the social, health, and economic benefits they provide.

Of the total funding, the Forest Service awarded $209 million to community-based organizations, tribes, municipal and state governments, non-profit partners, universities, and other eligible entities across the Southern Region. These investments will plant and maintain trees in disadvantaged urban communities, tackle the climate crisis, and support jobs and workforce development.

The funding, made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, is part of a historic $1.5 billion investment in the Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program. The funding supports local communities and the organizations that serve them as they work to increase tree cover in disadvantaged spaces and boost equitable access to nature.

Examples of projects funded includes:

  • $15 million for ForUsTree: Creating an Inclusive Community Canopy within Houston and Harris County, Texas
  • $15 million for South Dallas Neighborhood Greening Initiative, Texas
  • $12 million for Louisville Equitable Forest Initiative, Kentucky
  • $10 million for Miami-Dade County Department of Parks, Recreation and Outdoor Spaces, Florida
  • $10 million for Promoting Tree Equity and Urban Forestry Workforce Diversity in Atlanta, Georgia
  • $10 million for Gateways to a Greener Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi

Funding amounts by Southern states are:

  • Alabama – $9.5 million
  • Arkansas – $4.2 million
  • Florida – $29.1 million
  • Georgia – $17.5 million
  • Kentucky – $14.5 million
  • Louisiana – $24.3 million
  • Mississippi – $16.8 million
  • North Carolina – $9.2 million
  • Oklahoma – $3.5 million
  • Puerto Rico – $8 million*

South Carolina – $6.7 million

Tennessee – $16.3 million

Texas – $31.6 million

Virginia – $17.7 million

*The funding for Puerto Rico is managed by the International Institute of Tropical Forestry