FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2023
Mayor Noble Announces $500,000 Urban Forestry Grant for Long-Term Tree Protection & Maintenance
KINGSTON, NY – Mayor Steven T. Noble is pleased to announce that the City of Kingston has received $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service to hire a full-time Urban Forester for long-term tree protection and maintenance.
With this grant funding, the City of Kingston will establish an Urban Forester position to manage the City’s urban forest holistically, taking a comprehensive approach. The Forester will analyze the City’s existing programs, policies, and conditions, engage the public in decision-making, and use that information to develop and implement a plan to increase canopy cover and resilience, decrease invasive species, address environmental sustainability, and more.
“We are thrilled to receive this grant funding, which will help us maintain our beloved trees,” said Mayor Noble. “It has long been a challenge to properly care for our many urban trees across the City of Kingston, and with climate change, we foresee maintaining healthy trees will both be more challenging, and more necessary. We look forward to having someone on staff who will assist the City and residents with plans and procedures for ensuring our trees thrive. We expect the Urban Forester will also help us achieve our goal of planting 1000 trees by 2030, which was outlined in our Open Space Plan. I want to thank Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Pat Ryan for their efforts in helping secure this funding for Kingston.”
“These investments arrive as cities across the country experience record-breaking heatwaves that have grave impacts on public health, energy consumption, and overall well-being,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we are supporting communities in becoming more resilient to climate change and combatting extreme heat with the cooling effects of increased urban tree canopy, while also supporting employment opportunities and professional training that will strengthen local economies.”
“Investing in helping green spaces in our neighborhoods grow not only improves quality of life and air quality, it helps increase property values, decrease temperatures and so much more, it is how you plant the seeds for a brighter future,” said Senator Schumer. “I fought hard to plant this funding in the Inflation Reduction Act so that cities across Upstate New York, could have access to the funding they have long needed to breathe new life into our most underserved neighborhoods.”
“Tree coverage is an absolute necessity for a thriving city. I’m proud to deliver these historic investments that will increase canopy cover, improve climate resilience, and create good-paying jobs along the way,” said Congressman Pat Ryan. “I appreciate the hard work and partnership of Mayor Noble as we work to make the Hudson Valley a sustainable and vibrant home for generations to come.”
Studies show that communities with access to trees and green spaces are associated with improved health outcomes, reduced crime, lower average temperatures, and an influx of other kinds of investments and new economic opportunities. The U.S. Forest Service grant is intended to increase equitable access to trees and green spaces, increase tree cover/shade, diversify our tree types, protect our trees from invasive species, and many more proven benefits of trees.
The USDA’s announcement can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/news/releases/usda-invests-1-billion-nearly-400-projects-expand-access-trees-and-green-spaces.