news releases

01 November 2023

Hispanic Access Celebrates IRA Funding for ‘Nuestro Bosques’ Project Grant from U.S. Forest Service to Increase Urban Tree Canopy in Latino Communities

Category: News Releases

Hispanic Access Foundation is honored to partner with the U.S. Forest Service to launch the “Nuestros Bosques (Our Forests)” five-year project through funding from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The project’s goal is to increase equitable access to urban tree canopy while increasing community engagement and decision-making in local urban forestry.

As the urbanization of the human population increases, destruction of green spaces in urban areas is increasing at an alarming rate. Solutions for nature access in urban areas should be a high priority to hit the nexus of biodiversity, climate gains, and societal benefits. In the U.S., the biggest hot spots for nature loss within communities of color are in metropolitan areas, usually Latino and African-American neighborhoods.

“For more than a decade, Hispanic Access has catapulted our trust-based community networks into action by providing access, capacity, and the belief to create beneficial changes in their communities,” said Hispanic Access Foundation President and CEO Maite Arce. "We are thrilled to receive support from the IRA to equip our communities with not only more trees and plants in underserved neighborhoods, but also the knowledge and resources to become engaged in urban forestry.”

Hispanic Access Foundation will launch a program that establishes local urban forestry projects in urban regions; brings together expertise, diverse stakeholders, and human capital to plant trees and other vegetation; establishes pocket parks and green spaces, creates jobs and train participants; promotes the connection between mental health and nature; raises awareness via the media and public events; and engages in local urban forestry planning.

“Communities of color and low-income communities across the country are facing a “Nature Gap” – meaning they have less access to parks, beaches, and natural areas in general,” said Arce. “Because of the inequitable distribution of greenspace in the U.S., these communities are denied nature’s benefits and suffer from higher rates of asthma, obesity, and other chronic diseases. We are thankful for the historic investment through the IRA to fund urban and community forestry initiatives that will make an impact for future generations’ access to nature.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service awarded more than $1 billion in competitive grants through the Urban and Community Forestry Program. Hispanic Access Foundation and the other awardees will be working towards advancing the mission of Justice40, to deliver 40% of the program’s investments through established and new partnerships working to support disadvantaged communities experiencing low tree canopy and environmental justice issues.

About Us

Hispanic Access Foundation connects Latinos and others with partners and opportunities to improve lives and create an equitable society.

Contact Us