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In a commitment to tree equity and the fight against extreme heat, the City of Phoenix will receive up to half a million dollars in donations for tree planting projects across the city. The funds will come from a partnership with American Forests, the oldest nonprofit national conservation organization in the United States.
In April 2021, the City of Phoenix and American Forests entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together to increase tree equity in Phoenix neighborhoods. Since the initial partnership, American Forests has raised more than $260,000 for tree planting efforts from businesses and philanthropic groups on behalf of the city. At the official meeting on January 5, 2022, the Phoenix City Council voted 8 to 0 to receive up to $500,000 in total from American Forests and to disburse the funds through nonprofit partners such as Keep Phoenix Beautiful, Trees Matter and the Arizona Sustainability Alliance, as needed.
“I look forward to supporting this article,” Mayor Kate Gallego said at the Council meeting. “American Forests has been a strong partner with us and it’s exciting to see fundraising opportunities come to our community.”
American Forests’ first round of funding will immediately support tree planting projects in areas with low tree equity scores, in city parks and in schools. The funds will also be used by the Department of Neighborhood Services for residential planting projects.
“Achieving our citywide tree cover and tree equity goals will only be possible with great partners and collaborations, including those with community groups, philanthropic organizations and the private sector,” said Dr. David Hondula, director of the new Office of Heat. Response and Mitigation. “Our partnership with American Forests not only helps us shape our strategy, but also brings important new resources to Phoenix that can help us make much more progress toward our goals than we have been able to in the past.”
Funding partners include Salesforce, iHeart Radio, and Aspiration Bank. As new projects are identified, American Forests will continue to fundraise on behalf of the city to help achieve tree equity by 2030, as well as other goals outlined in the tree and shade master plan and climate action plan.
“If we can achieve tree equity here in our desert community in a sustainable way, then cities across the country can do it too,” Gallego said.
Read more stories from the Phoenix Valley at Signals A Z.com.
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