NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service awarded $20.5 million to groups in New Mexico to increase access to trees and the social, health, and economic benefits they provide.

The investment is expected to get trees planted and maintained in disadvantaged urban communities, tackle the climate crisis, and support jobs and workforce development, according to a news release from the USDA Forest Service.

The following groups in New Mexico received grant funding:

  • City of Albuquerque Park and Recreation Department: $5,000,000
  • City of Santa Fe*: $1,000,000
  • Dona Ana Soil and Water Conservation District: $1,000,000
  • La Cosecha Community Supported Agriculture: $2,500,000
  • Rocky Mountain Youth Corps*: $1,000,000
  • Tree New Mexico: $5,000,000
  • Western New Mexico University: $5,000,000

Note: Partner marked with a * is an award included in $121,784,380 in grants that will be managed in collaboration with national pass-through partners.

The funding, made possible by President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, is part of a historic $1.5 billion investment in the Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, according to the news release.

“Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we are supporting communities in becoming more resilient to climate change and combatting extreme heat with the cooling effects of increased urban tree canopy, while also supporting employment opportunities and professional training that will strengthen local economies,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

A total of 400 grant awards were dispersed nationwide, the USDA Forest Service said. Learn more about the grant funding here.