Several Texas cities and nonprofits will be awarded grants aimed at building and expanding urban community forests, the Texas A&M Forest Service announced.

The grants, which consist of state and federal funding, are used for local tree planting, maintenance and education. Recipients are expected to get the funding in June.

The details

“These grants are critical to communities and organizations throughout the state in continuing proactive forestry practices,” said Al Davis, Texas A&M Forest Service director, in a news release. “By investing in our communities today, we are ensuring healthy forests and communities for all to benefit from.”

The awards include:
  • $5.46 million to the Dallas-based Texas Trees Foundation for school forestry projects in southeast Texas
  • $550,000 to the Texas Trees Foundation for statewide geospatial analysis
  • $50,000 to Austin-based Ecology Action of Texas for climate resiliency
  • $50,000 to the Lewisville Parks and Recreation Department for human health, equity and accessibility
  • $20,000 to Alief Super Neighborhood Council 25 in Houston for tree planting projects
  • $20,000 to the city of Denton for tree planting projects
  • $20,000 to the city of North Richland Hills for tree planting projects
  • $10,000 to the Lewisville Parks and Recreation Department for Tree City USA, an Arbor Day Foundation program that helps communities maintain and grow their tree cover
  • $10,000 to the town of Flower Mound for the Tree City USA program
The grant program was founded in 2022 to help Texas communities create “accessible community treescapes” and invest in urban forests, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. A full list of this year’s recipients is available here.

Quote of note

“The impact that trees have on our mental and physical health is astounding,” said Gretchen Riley, Texas A&M Forest Service Forest Systems department head, in the release. “Coordinating with schools across the state to focus efforts on increasing tree coverage at schools will positively impact the mental and physical health of students as well as provide them with hands-on forestry education and appreciation.”

The school forestry projects focus on increasing tree coverage to 30% of a school’s campus.