(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) announced today with Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) that $2.5 million in federal grants are heading to Manchester and Lebanon to help protect and preserve the environment. The funds will be used to help plant and maintain trees, combat extreme heat and climate change and improve access to nature. These grants were made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act – the largest climate investment in history – and will be allocated through the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program. The City of Manchester’s NH Urban Forest Equity Planning and Implementation project will receive $2,277,742 and the City of Lebanon’s NH Green Streets Initiative will receive $244,275.
“I’m thrilled that this investment from the Inflation Reduction Act is going to help cities in New Hampshire add more trees to provide shade during increasingly hot summers, clean the air and enrich the lives of Granite Staters,” said Senator Shaheen. “This funding will make landmark investments in New Hampshire and expand access to green spaces.”
“The Granite State’s beautiful natural resources are critical to New Hampshire’s character, economy, and way of life,” said Senator Hassan. “This important funding will help expand access to trees and green spaces, providing cleaner air for people to breathe, cooler city streets, and more opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors.”
“Our communities are made stronger when we invest in our public spaces,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I’m thrilled to see this funding from the Inflation Reduction Act heading to New Hampshire to bring the benefits of green spaces to our cities and make the most of the incredible outdoor resources we have. From cooling streets in the summer to improving air quality year round, I look forward to seeing the positive impact of these projects!”
“Protecting our natural environment has tremendous benefits for New Hampshire’s way of life and economy,” said Congressman Pappas. “I was proud to pass the Inflation Reduction Act to secure these funds that will expand access to green spaces across our state and bolster the well-being of our local communities. I’ll continue working to ensure that New Hampshire is a great place to live, visit, and do business.”
“The City of Manchester has made clear that we’re leading the way in efforts to create a more equitable and sustainable future for our community, and this $2.2 million USDA grant will be vital in our work,” said Mayor Joyce Craig. “The trees planted with these funds will be a game-changer in promoting cleaner air, much-needed shade and enhanced overall well-being in our neighborhoods with the greatest need. Thank you to our federal delegation, the Biden Administration, USDA officials, and additional partners for their support of our vision. I look forward to all that the future holds and am eager to continue building on our strong partnerships to deliver historic progress for residents.”
“The City’s volunteer Tree Advisory Board worked diligently to put this grant together to address the urban heat islands we have across the City. The trees that the City will plant will provide shade to reduce the impacts of heat that disproportionately impacts the elderly and those who can least afford air conditioning. We would like to thank Senators Shaheen and Hassan and Congresswoman Kuster for their advocacy for this project which will directly enhance the quality of life for the residents of the City,” said Shaun Mulholland, City Manager, City of Lebanon.
The Urban and Community Forestry Program is the only program in the federal government dedicated to enhancing and expanding the nation's urban forest resources. This is the largest single USDA Inflation Reduction Act investment to date in urban and community forests.
Studies show that trees in communities are associated with improved physical and mental health, lower average temperatures during extreme heat, increased food security and new economic opportunities. This historic funding will help the Forest Service support projects that increase tree cover in disadvantaged communities, provide equitable access to the benefits of nature and deliver tangible economic and ecological benefits to urban and Tribal communities across the country.
Senator Shaheen has long worked to secure federal investments to address climate change and green space access. Shaheen was a key supporter of the historic climate bill – the Inflation Reduction Act – which was signed into law last year and invests resources into climate resiliency efforts, such as the Urban and Community Forestry Program. Recently, Shaheen introduced the Connecticut River Watershed Partnership Act (CRWPA), which would formalize a partnership between federal, state, local and private entities to promote conservation, restoration, education and recreation efforts in the Connecticut River Watershed and establish a voluntary grant program to facilitate these activities.