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IU Environmental Resilience Institute Awarded $5 Million to Expand Urban Tree Canopy
Indiana Ag Connection - 09/25/2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded a $5 million grant to Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience institute. The grant allows the institute to help disadvantaged communities expand their tree canopies in response to climate change.

The program will plant and maintain 2,500 trees over five years in underserved communities within the state to enhance their urban green infrastructure. The goal is to create comfortable spaces within those communities.

“Because trees will provide shade, because they will take up pollutants, they will provide spaces for people to be outdoors in more comfortable environments, despite increasing temperatures due to climate change,” said Sarah Mincey, the Managing Director for the Environmental Resilience Institute at Indiana University.

According to the ERI, research has shown tree canopy cover can reduce public health risks posed by extreme heat. Trees also intercept stormwater, which relieves some of the burden on storm drains during periods of heavy rain.

Mincey said the goal is to have 25 cities and towns participate in the program. Each participating community will receive an urban tree canopy cover assessment in addition to staff support from McKinney climate fellows.


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