HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – The City of Hartford has received $6 million from the United States Department (USDA) to plant trees and add new green spaces within the capital city.

The funding comes from the USDA’s Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forest Grant program. The funds will be used to implement the Capital Forest Stewardship Initiative.

The service will invest $1 billion in nearly 400 projects to expand access to trees and green spaces within disadvantaged communities.

Hartford officials said the funding will address the health and vitality of its urban canopy in public and private spaces.

The grant will help to support Hartford’s goal for 35% tree cover by 2070.

The Capital Forest Steward Initiative will help Hartford to:

  • Plant and support the growth of trees
  • Maintain mature trees through tree trimming cycles and compost
  • Assess or remove trees that become public hazards
  • Improve community education, outreach and engagement

A strong urban forest can help reduce air pollution which contributes to respiratory problems and conserve energy by addressing urban heat islands, according to Hartford officials.

Hartford will prioritize neighborhoods that currently have the least canopy coverage, city officials said.