Federal Inflation Reduction Act Grant Awarded to the City of Newport
We're excited to announce the City of Newport, Kentucky, has been awarded nearly $1 million to add tree canopy to the West Side of Newport and other areas that have low tree canopy and high rates of urban heat. Newport is a dense urban community of approximately 14,000 people, directly across the river from Cincinnati, OH. As of 2014, 33% of Newport was found to be covered by tree canopy, though this canopy is not equitably distributed. The southern neighborhoods of Newport have upwards of 45% tree canopy, east Newport around 25%, while west Newport, which houses densely-populated urban residences for primarily low-income households, has only 10% tree canopy. This means that the low-income residents of Newport suffer the most from intense urban heat island effects in the summer, experiencing temperatures 10-20 degrees hotter than other neighborhoods.
ReNewport and our partners, Westside Citizen's Coalition and the City of Newport have been working to address that issue, with the specific goal of improving the health and resiliency of residents in this area in the face of climate change.
Together we are seeking funding to create more planting space in west Newport, which is largely covered by impervious surfaces. We aim to increase tree canopy by 1) creating new planting spaces along streets (the hottest areas) and 2) expanding the growing space in street tree wells for existing trees to ensure trees reach maturity, thus providing the most health benefits to Newport residents with the highest need.
Recent street views of a typical street in the project area of west Newport (above left) and typical street in the wealthier area of east Newport (above right). West Newport has 10% canopy or less, while east and south Newport have 25-45% tree canopy.
Opportunities for Funding Still Exist at the State Level
Anticipated January of 2024.
Applications are due December 29, 2023. In order to be eligible, a community must qualify as disadvantaged in terms of environmental quality. One way to determine this utilizing the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool. Grants are made available both to those communities that already have established forestry programs, and those that are just getting established. If you have a project with trees that you think might make a good candidate, or want to consider hiring a contract arborist to help establish your program, last us know!
Questions? Interested in talking about the options? Contact us.