In a move towards combatting climate change and growing urban green spaces, Yonkers announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service has granted the City of Yonkers $1 million.
This grant aligns with Yonkers’ recently unveiled Climate Action Plan to plant and maintain trees to mitigate extreme heat. The plan aims to improve air quality, cool streets, and enhance public health and safety for Yonkers residents.
“This investment made by our federal partners, combined with our local share, is an acknowledgement of the nation’s underserved communities who suffered from decades of environmental injustice,” Mayor Spano remarked during the announcement.
Increasing our urban tree canopy and providing more green space will vastly improve the quality of life of our residents and create healthier generations to come. Yonkers is committed to being a more sustainable, greener, and equitable place for our families to live, work, and play.Mike Spano – Mayor of Yonkers
Yonkers secured this funding as part of the Urban and Community Forestry Program. A program which supports 385 communities across the nation in enhancing and expanding their urban forest resources. Yonkers stands as a example of how these grants can be leveraged to address environmental issues at the local level.
Studies have regularly shown the benefits of increased tree cover in urban areas. Tree cover improves physical and mental health, lower temperatures, better food security, and economic opportunities. This historic funding will not only enhance tree cover but also promote equitable access to nature. This access delivers real economic and ecological benefits to urban communities across the nation.
Groundwork Hudson Valley, a key local partner in Yonkers’ efforts to combat climate change and achieve sustainability goals, has also received a large grant of $5.5 million from the U.S. Forest Service. This grant will support their programs, which provide education and job training for careers in environmental sustainability.
“This is a pivotal moment for the City of Yonkers,” said Oded Holzinger, Executive Director of Groundwork Hudson Valley. “We have been working together for several years to get to this point, and we are now positioned to pick up our shovels and tools and work together across the city to create a more climate-resilient Yonkers.”
As Yonkers takes steps toward a greener future, it serves as an example for cities nationwide striving to combat climate change and promote environmental equity.