Rochester Awarded $1 million Grant For Planting Trees
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The City of Rochester will soon be going on a tree-planting binge.
Rochester has been awarded a $1 million Urban and Community Forest Grant from the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service. A news release issued by the city says the funding will be used to increase the number of trees within the public right-of-way and on private property in "underserved areas." According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Environmental Justice program, those areas in Rochester have been identified as having higher concentrations of people living in poverty or residents who are people of color.
According to City Forester Jeff Haberman, “This available funding is historic. Tree canopy is being recognized as a critical tool in combating our changing climate. Trees are a valuable component of city infrastructure that provide tangible benefits in: mitigating stormwater runoff and effects of urban heat, reducing energy consumption in both summer and winter, and significantly impacting human health and wellness. This money will help us plant trees in areas of our community that have a disproportionate amount of canopy cover.”
City officials say the grant money will support Rochester's goal of increasing its urban tree canopy from 28% to 35% by 2035. The news release says increasing the tree canopy will reduce carbon emissions, decrease temperatures, enhance public safety, improve mental health, and create other significant benefits.