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Pascrell, Menendez Announce $548K in Federal Urban Forest Funds for Kearny

Congressmen Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) and Rob Menendez (D-NJ-08) announced today that Kearny would receive $548,280 in federal funding thanks to Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act. Part of $1 billion in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the grant will help Kearny plant and maintain trees, reduce pollution, prevent flooding, and combat climate change.

"I am proud to announce with my friend Congressman Rob Menendez a $548,280 federal environmental grant for Kearny. This federal Forest Service grant will help Kearny provide natural shelter from extreme heat, combat climate change, and enhance our community's access to the beauty of nature,” said Congressman Pascrell. “With this funding, we are sowing the seeds of a healthier, greener future for Kearny -- one tree at a time. Together we can grow a more sustainable and vibrant community that benefits us all. The Biden administration is making a transformative federal investment today in the town of Kearny."

“Urban forest canopies have immense positive impacts on our communities, including better shade coverage, cooler temperatures, and health benefits,” said Congressman Menendez. “With the support of the Biden Administration, Kearny is receiving a $548,280 Urban and Community Forestry Grant, which will be used to enhance the town’s urban forest canopy, minimize flooding, and increase green space. I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of Kearny residents on this and similar initiatives with my colleague and strong advocate for the town of Kearny, Rep. Pascrell.”

“This grant will help maintain and increase Kearny’s natural beauty, supporting our green spaces, helping with flood prevention, and protecting our residents from harmful chemicals and pollutants,” said Kearny Mayor Peter Santana. “I want to thank our Congressmen Bill Pascrell and Rob Menendez for securing this grant for our Town. Both Congressmen have shown over and over that Kearny is in their hearts and minds when opportunities arise. As Mayor, I look forward to working with our federal representatives to continue delivering support for Kearny.”

Congressman Pascrell helped pass the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August 2022. In addition to the funding announced today, the IRA continues to provide enormous benefits to communities throughout the United States – helping lower prescription drug prices, reduce health care and energy costs, increase tax fairness, decrease the national debt, and mitigate inflation.

"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."

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, and increased food security, and create new economic opportunities. This historic funding increase tree cover in disadvantaged communities, provide equitable access to the benefits of nature, and deliver tangible economic and ecological benefits to urban communities across the country.

“Today’s landmark funding from the U.S. Forest Service will increase urban access to nature, improve air quality, keep city streets cool during sweltering summers, tackle the climate crisis, and create safer, healthier communities in every corner of America,” said John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation. “That makes a huge difference for the grandmother who doesn’t have air conditioning, or the kid who has asthma, or the parent who works outside for ten hours a day. This investment will create not just greener cities—it will create healthier and more equitable cities.”

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