Growing Our Urban Forest – Kiwanis Park

Hailey receives $139,000 in funding to Grow Urban Community Forest at Kiwanis Park

The City of Hailey received full funding for their $139,390 proposal to support a transformational tree planting project at Kiwanis Park.  This site was selected because of the current lack of tree canopy cover, its proximity to State Highway 75 and the Friedman Memorial Airport, and its designation as an overburdened and underserved area by the federal Council on Environmental Quality’s Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool.  Increasing the tree canopy is a cornerstone of Hailey’s sustainability efforts.

In September an investment of $1 billion was announced by the USDA Forest Service supporting 385 urban forestry projects across all 50 states. This historic investment, made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, will address the most pressing issues facing community forests and the people who need them most.

The Hailey grant award was one of only seven grants funded in Idaho.  This project seeks to address the environmental injustice faced by an overburdened community by increasing equitable access to urban tree canopy and associated human health benefits, increasing community engagement in local urban forestry, and improving resilience to climate change and heat events.

This project will increase quality of life for residents near Kiwanis Park by planting rows of trees and shrubs along the western edge of the park that will help reduce noise levels and exposure to pollutants, create a much-needed windbreak and increase shade cover at the heavily used park. This grant will fund the purchase and planting of large trees, shrubs, fence installation, soil remediation, drip irrigation for the trees, and seating areas. Community volunteers will be an integral component of this project and will be invited to assist with planning and planting efforts.  The Hailey Tree Committee collaborated in writing the grant and will be involved throughout the project including oversight and volunteer management. The grant is a multi-year project and will be completed within five years.

States Mayor Martha Burke, “Our tree canopy is one of our greatest assets, now and for future generations.  I am thrilled that we have been awarded a grant that furthers our sustainability goals by planting trees in a neighborhood where more shade canopy for park users is needed.”