Local officials can expect a big bump in funding for trees as the Inflation Reduction Act invests $1.5 Billion in tree planting over the next decade.
It has been long noted that communities with an abundant amount of healthy trees also have reduced levels of crime, cooler environments, and healthier communities. A provision in the federal Inflation Reduction Act aims to build off of that science in an effort to grow healthier and stronger communities. The provision invests over $1.5 billion over the next decade, or about $150 million a year, in the planting of new trees.
The program is tipped to build off of already blossoming state and local programs aimed at increasing vegetation in communities. So far, planting trees has been tied with positive environmental impacts, including fighting climate change and better air quality in and around communities, as well as for beautification and redevelopment efforts. Maryland has already been at the forefront of such efforts, with the General Assembly passing the Tree Solutions Now Act of 2021. The act set out a plan to plant 5 million trees over an eight-year period, with 500,000 of them slated for urban, underserved areas. While it is currently unknown exactly how much tree investment will be directed toward Maryland, there is no doubt that the incoming federal resources will help expedite the state’s 5 million tree goal.