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Bay Area cities to receive $42 million to plant trees, combat climate change

SAN FRANCISCO -- Cities in the San Francisco Bay Area will be receiving more than $42 million in funding to combat climate change by planting trees and creating urban spaces, among other projects, California lawmakers said this week.

U.S. Senators Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said the funding is part of the $102.8 million grant awarded to the state by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service. It comes from the Inflation Reduction Act, according to Padilla's office.

"As extreme temperatures increasingly threaten the safety of workers and communities all across California, expanding access to shade and green spaces is more important than ever," Padilla said in a statement.

Based on data from Padilla's office, the San Francisco Public Works-Bureau of Urban Forestry will receive $12 million while the city-county's Recreation and Parks Department will get $2 million for tree planting, environment maintenance, and other projects.

The following Bay Area cities and government agencies will also receive grants: Berkeley ($1 million) Concord ($1 million), Fremont ($383,472), Hayward ($500,000), Oakland ($8 million), Petaluma ($1 million), Pittsburg ($2 million), San Jose ($6,644,300), Santa Cruz ($1 million), Vallejo ($1,734,070), Walnut Creek ($100,000), Napa County Resource Conservation District ($1,560,761), and Watsonville Wetlands Watch ($3,275,191).

Feinstein stressed the importance of the funding since a lot of California's urban areas lack sufficient tree canopies as the effects of climate change continue to batter the state and the country.

"This grant funding will help more cities and towns plant and maintain trees, which in turn will filter out pollution, reduce energy consumption, lower temperatures and provide more Californians access to green spaces in their communities," she said.

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