La. receives more than $24 million for tree planting

La. receives more than $24 million for tree planting
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:09 PM CDT
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WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that the agency awarded more than $1 billion nationwide for communities to combat extreme heat and plant trees.

RELATED CONTENT: Feds spread $1 billion for tree plantings among US cities to reduce extreme heat and benefit health

The agency invested the money for close to 400 projects across the country to also improve access to nature. Communities in Louisiana now have access to $24 million, which is part of the billion dollar nationwide investment from USDA.

Sheila Kay Downhour, executive director of Ouachita Green, said tree grants can benefit residents’ access to nature.

“Of course, it cools us down. Do you remember when you were a little kid and parents would say go out and play under the trees? Well, of course, it keeps us cool; well, it keeps our Earth cool; it keeps our environment cool,” said Kay Downhour.

The USDA writes that studies show that trees in communities are associated with increasing food security.

“I know it would be great if we could plant some trees along Jackson Street where the kids come - they can grab an apple or an orange or something along their way to school,” said Kay Downhour.

Kay Downhour said throughout the year, Ouachita Green makes an effort to go to different neighborhoods and plant trees.

“We do it at least once a year for Arbor Day, but we do it all throughout the year if somebody requests trees and we have availability,” said Kay Downhour.

The federal money comes from the Inflation Reduction Act.