City of Goshen claims $1 million grant for trees and arbor education

The City of Goshen’s Environmental Resilience department today announced that it successfully procured a $1 million grant from the United States Forest Service. Funding from the grant will grow the City’s urban forestry program, providing area students with arboriculture education, expanding our tree stock, and supporting robust public education on tree care. 

“A healthy tree canopy offers both physical and economic benefits to our community,” said Mayor Gina Leichty. “I’m grateful to the Environmental Resilience team for their hard work and bringing essential funding to expand Goshen’s tree canopy.” 

Studies show that communities with access to trees and green spaces are associated with improved health outcomes, reduced crime, lower average temperatures, and an influx of other kinds of investments and new economic opportunities. Through funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, the Forest Service is making historic investments in boosting the nation’s tree cover in urban, suburban, and rural communities nationwide. 

“This kind of funding is transformative for a community like ours, which is preparing for the effects of climate change,” said Aaron Sawatsky-Kinglsey, Director of the Department of Environment Resilience. “This grant will help to power our 45% urban tree canopy goal, keeping us cooler, reducing our energy demands, and improving our urban environment. Caring for trees is caring for people.” 

The agency has selected 385 grant proposals from entities that are working to increase equitable access to trees and green spaces and the many benefits they provide. 100% of funding will flow to disadvantaged communities, and funded proposals are located in all 50 states, two U.S. territories, three U.S.-affiliated Pacific islands and several tribal communities. 

Photo: L to R: Theresa Sailor, DER Grantwriter and Educator; Melanie Helmuth, Forestry Assistant; Aaron Sawatsky-Kingsley, DER Director and City Forester