Arbor Day Foundation Accelerates Local Tree Plantings in Neighborhoods of Greatest Need Through Community Resiliency Grant Program
In partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, Bank of America has provided $250,000 to support community health and resilience grants to four local environmental organizations. This funding will contribute to projects aimed at increasing environmental equity in several underserved neighborhoods and vulnerable communities
in four cities across the country.
The grant awardee organizations are the following environmental nonprofits:
“A well-established tree canopy is valuable to any community as it contributes to the natural beauty of the area and enhances the overall well-being of residents, helping to protect them from serious issues like excessive urban heat,” said Dan Lambe, Chief Executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “The Community Resiliency Grant Program helps empower local tree planting organizations to unlock these and other vital benefits that trees provide for vulnerable populations."
Bank of America has been a long-standing leader in supporting nature-based solutions to climate change and supporting underserved communities. This is the fourth grant Bank of America has provided to the Arbor Day Foundation’s Community Resiliency Grant program. The program helps to drive more green infrastructure projects, builds on sustainability efforts, and increases resiliency in urban communities most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
“Trees are a cost-effective tool with multiple benefits, including carbon capture, reducing urban heat island effects, protecting against stormwater runoff and helping clean the air,” said Rich Brown, Environmental Program director, Bank of America. "The Arbor Day Foundation’s program will support more sustainable and climate resilient cities and bring the natural infrastructure of trees to some of our most vulnerable and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities that are more adversely impacted by the effects of a changing climate."
The projects will occur over a yearlong period, with a primary focus on utilizing trees and green infrastructure to bring environmental benefits to low- and moderate-income urban communities to implement more tree planting and greenspace projects. Studies have shown a lack of access to nature can lead to physical and mental health problems caused by stress, heat, pollution, and more.
Today, many urban neighborhoods in lower income census tracts lack access to greenspaces. This has had profound effects on residents’ well-being, as research has shown a positive correlation between a community’s access to nature and community member health outcomes. The more natural elements a community has access to — such as trees, greenspace, and other vegetation — the better the community’s health outcomes become. Additionally, trees provide a variety of environmental benefits that help protect communities, such as flood mitigation, air and water quality improvement, and cooler temperatures that decrease local urban heat island effect.
For the past 50 years, the Arbor Day Foundation has worked to plant nearly 500 million trees around the world. Through a global network of partnerships, the Foundation facilitates projects that empower organizations of all sizes to reach their environmental and sustainability goals via measurable, impactful work through trees and forests. The Foundation recently announced an initiative to plant 500 million trees over the next five years where trees are needed most.
Bank of America has provided the Arbor Day Foundation with $1 million in grants since 2018 and supported the Foundation's Time for Trees™ initiative as a member of its Evergreen Alliance. The initiative succeeded in planting 100 million trees and engaging five million tree planters worldwide by this year – which is the 150th anniversary of the Arbor Day holiday. In 2020, the Arbor Day Foundation recognized the bank with its Friend of the Forest Award, which recognizes companies and their leaders for their commitment to using trees and forests to achieve corporate sustainability goals and targets.
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters and valued partners. Since 1972, almost 500 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted 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.
As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at arborday.org.
Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 67 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 4,000 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs and award-winning digital banking with approximately 55 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Kelly Sapp, Bank of America
Jeff Salem, Arbor Day Foundation