The Bronx is Blooming, a non-profit organization actively working to address long-standing environmental injustices in the Bronx, is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded a $5 million Urban & Community Forestry grant from the USDA Forest Service, through funding from the Inflation Reduction Act. The award was announced on September 14, 2023.
This generous award is a testament to The Bronx is Blooming’s unwavering commitment to community-driven park revitalization and ecological restoration for more than a decade. These funds will bolster the organization’s youth development and tree stewardship programs over the next five years, helping to address long-standing environmental and health inequities related to air quality, excessive heat, and park access, while creating economic opportunities, building community capacity to care for urban forests, and increasing climate resilience.
“The Bronx is Blooming is honored to receive this $5 million grant from the USDA Forest Service. This unprecedented investment will engage thousands of local students, Bronx youth, and diverse community partners in tree planting and stewardship, equipping them with the tools to grow and support our urban canopy,” said Jenn Beaugrand, Founder and Executive Director of The Bronx is Blooming. “We are incredibly excited about the opportunities this grant will create for our community to come together to give Bronx green spaces the love and care they deserve.”
The funds from this grant will be used to:
Directly engage Bronx residents in caring for our urban tree canopy through expanded community outreach, environmental education programming, and stewardship opportunities in communities around the borough.
Support the next generation of urban forest stewards by offering more school-based education for K-12 students and providing job training, certifications, and employment opportunities for more than one thousand Bronx youth, to foster interest in forestry and create pathways to careers in the green economy.
Create greener, healthier, and more climate resilient neighborhoods by planting thousands of new trees in the Bronx, to mitigate long-standing environmental injustices related to air pollution, extreme temperatures, and access to green space.
Establish a network of community tree stewards in Highbridge through partnerships with schools, property owners, and community organizations, to demonstrate how community-driven forestry efforts can transform a neighborhood.
To advance these efforts, The Bronx is Blooming will collaborate with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation; citywide environmental organizations including Trees New York; The Nature Conservancy; workforce development organizations including Mosholu Montefiore Community Center, Roads to Success, and United Activities Unlimited; community development organizations including High Bridge Development Corporation and New Settlement; local schools and colleges including International Community High School, HERO High School, The Highbridge Green School, Luis Llorens Torres Children’s Academy, The Highbridge School, and Manhattan College; as well as many other important partners and supporters.
For more information about The Bronx is Blooming and its programs, please visit here.
About The Bronx is Blooming
The Bronx is Blooming works to improve environmental health, build community, and increase youth employment in neighborhoods whose residents suffer NYC’s highest environmental and public health burdens, and highest rates of poverty. Our mission is to grow and support a culture of environmental stewardship in the Bronx. We accomplish this through two core programs that engage community members in the restoration of park ecosystems to support local environmental and public health: the Program for Leaders Advancing their Community’s Environment (PLACE) employs and trains local youth to lead communities in the care of their parks, while Grow, Revitalize, Engage, Educate, Nurture (GREEN) provides civic groups, schools, and volunteer groups with hands-on environmental education and stewardship workshops.
Since 2011, The Bronx is Blooming has engaged more than 20,000 volunteers in stewardship projects at 20 Bronx parks and green spaces and provided seasonal employment, leadership and horticulture training, exposure to higher education, and professional development for more than 470 Bronx high school and college students. Our staff, students, and volunteers have planted more than 18,000 native plants and stewarded more than 16,000 trees. In 2022 alone, our teams held more than 80 events, added more than 400 new native trees, and completed 20,000 hours of service – the equivalent of more than 10 park staff members working full time.