Media Contacts: John Lisle at (202) 671-2004
(Washington, DC) The District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) has been awarded nearly $2.8 million in federal funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to create green jobs in the District and improve the health of the city’s urban tree canopy.
“This is what the stimulus money was intended to do — to put people to work,” said DDOT Director Gabe Klein, “and in this case there’s a significant environmental as well as an economic benefit for the District.”
DDOT, in partnership with Washington Parks & People, will receive $2.692 million to create the DC Green Corps. The DC Green Corps will provide a city-wide gateway to 50 different green career tracks in urban and community forestry, forest-based ecosystems and watershed restoration. Washington Parks & People is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring and enhancing public parks, and the DC Green Corps will be based at the new Marvin Gaye Community Greening Center in the Watts Branch sub-watershed of the Anacostia River.
This is one of two significant grant awards for DDOT from the United States Forest Service. DDOT, along with the District Department of the Environment, was also awarded $90,000 for the Mayor’s Green Summer Job Corps, a program that offers approximately 100 District teenagers the opportunity for real green-collar work experience. Working on UFA’s tree teams, the youth will be engaged in data collection and maintenance (mulching, watering, and pruning) of public-space trees.
The DC Green Corps and Mayor’s Green Summer Job Corps are among 78 forest health protection projects to receive ARRA funding from the Forest Service. DDOT has also received ARRA funding for a number of other green initiatives through DDOE. For more detail on all of the District’s ARRA projects, visit the District’s stimulus web site at recovery.dc.gov.
The mission of DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration is to establish a full population of street trees within the District and to ensure that those street trees are maintained in a healthy and safe condition. UFA has 16 certified arborists on staff that care for approximately 140,000 trees throughout the city.