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Published on May 27, 2024
Tennessee Boosts Urban Greenery with Fresh Funding for Community ForestsSource: Department of Agriculture

Tennessee is greening up its urban spaces with a fresh infusion of cash for community forests. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry has unveiled the latest recipients of its Urban and Community Forestry Inflation Reduction Act Grant Program, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. In a recent announcement, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry disclosed that a dozen towns and organizations across the state are set to get a financial boost destined to enhance the local foliage of their urban landscapes.

State Forester Heather Slayton highlighted the significance of the grants: "Trees play a key role in our lives, providing environmental, health, and economic benefits that are vital for all communities," she stated. According to Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry, the funds aim to significantly improve green spaces across the Volunteer State. Slayton further stressed the importance of these benefits being made accessible to areas throughout Tennessee, an endeavor crucial to urban ecological balance and community well-being.

Grants are to be distributed among varied entities, from rotary clubs to government bodies and non-profits. Notable recipients include the Chattanooga Breakfast Rotary Club, City of Knoxville, Nashville Tree Conservation Corps, and The Works, Inc. in Memphis, along with several other municipal governments and community organizations. Projects in the pipeline have been earmarked for tree-planting programs, educational initiatives on tree care, and notably the cultivation of a food forest.

Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator Ashley Kite-Rowland expressed excitement about the collaborations: "Our program is committed to partnering with these awardees as they implement their projects," she noted. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry is set to closely follow these projects, offering accountability and support to maximize their success, while also looking to engage local communities in expanding the reach and health of urban green spaces.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry, according to the announcement, remains steadfast in its goal to foster and preserve vibrant urban forests across Tennessee. This is facilitated through its comprehensive approach, which integrates outreach, education, public engagement, and financial backing. A subsequent round of funding for urban and community forestry is anticipated for the next calendar year, ensuring a continued investment in the greening of Tennessee's towns and cities.