Over $1.5M Secured to Expand Tree Coverage

KINGSTON – Congressman Pat Ryan secured more than $1.5M to expand tree coverage in Kingston and Port Jervis. Ryan delivered $1,000,000 for Port Jervis to form an intergenerational Green/Tree Corps that will provide youth employment opportunities to develop the city’s urban forestry and engage youth in environmental education and $528,600 for Kingston to build the capacity of its urban forestry, increasing tree canopy cover, combating invasive species, and improving climate resiliency.

“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 Mayors Noble and Decker as we work to make the Hudson Valley a sustainable and vibrant home for generations to come.”

“We are thrilled to receive this grant funding, which will help us maintain our beloved trees,” said Kingston Mayor Steve 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.”

The grants awarded to Port Jervis and Kingston were from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Urban and Community Forestry Program funded by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The Program will use $1.5 billion from the IRA over 10 years to create more equitable access to tree canopies and green spaces in U.S. cities to improve health and combat climate change. Urban tree canopies have been shown to improve air quality, reduce urban heat zones, and control dangerous stormwater runoff among other climate benefits. Research has also demonstrated that increased urban tree canopy is linked to improved health and better social cohesion.

Representative Ryan has made fighting for clean air, water, and soil for the Hudson Valley a priority in Congress. Ryan serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and has been committed to promoting green infrastructure projects. Following the historic flooding that devastated the Hudson Valley in July, Ryan called for investments in climate resilient infrastructure in rebuilding.

Ryan has also fought to remove sources of environmental pollutants in the Hudson Valley, bringing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Poughkeepsie to address the city’s lead pipe crisis, calling for the removal of telecommunications’ companies legacy cable systems that are leaching toxic lead into communities, and halting Holtec’s plan to dump radioactive waste into the Hudson River.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email