Arbor Day Foundation Awarded $50 Million in Inflation Reduction Act Funds To Increase Equitable Access to Trees in Urban Areas

The nonprofit will use the historic federal investment in urban forestry to help local tree planting partners increase tree canopy in communities of greatest need nationwide
Sep 14, 2023 2:35 PM ET
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Arbor Day Foundation

LINCOLN, Neb., September 14, 2023 /3BL/ - The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the Arbor Day Foundation $50 million for a program that will invest in tree planting and maintenance in disadvantaged communities across the country. The money was part of the Inflation Reduction Act’s historic $1.5 billion investment in the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry program.

The Arbor Day Foundation, the world’s largest membership nonprofit dedicated to tree planting, was one of the largest funding recipients.

“Now is the time for trees. In cities and neighborhoods, trees add value and offer countless benefits that everyone deserves to enjoy,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Leveraging more than 50 years of experience, the Arbor Day Foundation is ready to engage our extensive network of planting partners to activate these dollars in a meaningful way. We are honored and excited as the U.S. Forest Service puts trust in our organization to bring this impactful investment to the people and communities that need it most.”

The Inflation Reduction Act was passed in the summer of 2022 and remains the most significant climate legislation in U.S. history. The IRA set aside nearly $6 billion for clean energy initiatives to reduce the country’s output of greenhouse gases. That included $1.5 billion specifically dedicated to increasing equitable access to trees and green spaces in underserved communities.

As a national pass-through partner, the Arbor Day Foundation will deliver funds to community-based organizations and nonprofits across the United States. All projects will focus on a disadvantaged community, as defined by the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool. Work will ultimately lead to trees being planted, but may also include capacity-building and community engagement work, too.

The historic investment in urban forestry is emblematic of the high demand for trees in American cities. The Arbor Day Foundation recently reported a 23% annual increase in its urban work over the most recent fiscal year, planting and distributing more than 630,000 community trees worldwide.

About the Arbor Day Foundation

Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation is the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. Together with our partners, we have helped plant more than 500 million trees in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to lead toward a world where trees are used to solve issues critical to survival. Through our members, partners and programs, the Arbor Day Foundation inspires people across the globe to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information is available at

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