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A skyline that sprouts new buildings at a dizzying pace. Neighborhoods dotted with new breweries and renovated mills. Thousands of new apartments springing up beside light rail lines. The signs of Charlotte’s booming prosperity are everywhere. But that prosperity isn’t spread evenly. And from Charlotte’s “corridors of opportunity,” it can seem a long way off, more like a distant promise than the city’s reality.

Charlotte gets $1.1 million to preserve trees in low-income areas

Hoskins has a lots of small ranch homes on ample lots.
Lisa Worf
Hoskins has a lots of small ranch homes on ample lots.

Charlotte received a $1.1 million grant to preserve trees in the city’s Corridors of Opportunity, the city said Thursday.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service will support six historically underinvested neighborhoods that Charlotte plans to revitalize. Monica Holmes, executive manager of the Corridors of Opportunity, said in a statement.

“This funding symbolizes a shared commitment to the preservation and protection of our cherished trees, which are not only crucial to our environment but also integral to our community’s cultural and historical fabric," Holmes said. "This grant will undoubtedly leave a lasting, positive impact on our communities, fostering a sense of pride and unity as we work hand-in-hand toward a greener, more equitable future.”

The funds will support two programs. The Canopy Care Program, which will plant new trees and remove hazardous trees in designated communities, will receive $600,000. The other $500,000 will go towards the Tree Maintenance Program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service awarded $1 billion total to plant and maintain trees as a tool to combat rising heat across the U.S. and improve access to nature in cities, towns, and suburbs. In Charlotte, like many other cities, low-income areas often have less tree cover and higher temperatures.

The cities of Durham, Raleigh, Greensboro, and the town of Cary were othergrant recipients in North Carolina.

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Elvis Menayese is a Report for America corps member covering issues involving race and equity for WFAE. He previously was a member of the Queens University News Service. Major support for WFAE's Race & Equity Team comes from Novant Health and Wells Fargo.