The Woodlands-based nonprofit Houston Advanced Research Center has received $15 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service toward increasing tree canopy cover in Houston and Harris County, according to a Sept. 26 news release from HARC.

The details

ForUsTree is one of 385 projects across the U.S. that received over $1 billion from the USDA on Sept. 14, according to a news release from the USDA. The company will take action in Houston and across Harris County.

The five-year program, according to the HARC news release, will:
  • Increase tree canopy cover
  • Address climate-related challenges
  • Provide economic opportunities in environmentally friendly careers
What they’re saying

“The health of our communities and green spaces are intertwined,” said Ryan Bare, HARC’s nature-based solutions program manager and project director. “ForUsTree is about collectively tending to green spaces and reinvigorating communities’ access to natural areas and urban forests in an equitable manner.”

Diving in deeper

Apart from the environmental efforts, the program will conduct educational programs, career opportunities and promote community engagement, according to the HARC release.
  • The project will include educational activities to raise awareness about the importance of trees and green spaces.
  • The project offers training, paid jobs, and a route to green careers in urban and community forestry.
  • The project will involve local residents and stakeholders in setting goals, seeking their input on priorities, and actively including their perspectives and needs in decision-making processes.
There is no timeline provided for when the project will take place.