NEW HAVEN. Conn. (WTNH) — New Haven is about to get greener. City officials announced Thursday that the Elm City is getting a $3 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program to plant an additional 2,500 trees over the next five years. That will bring the total of new trees coming to New Haven to 5,000.  

Officials said the trees will help reduce the city’s heat island effect by providing more shade. The plantings will focus on schools, parks and environmental justice neighborhoods.

“There are a lot of historically underserved neighborhoods in the city that don’t have as robust of a tree canopy, and that makes those neighborhoods hotter,” New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said. “It means you have to spend more on air conditioning in the summer to keep yourselves cool.”

Part of the grant will also be used to develop a long-term strategic vision for New Haven’s urban forest. 

New Haven residents can also request a tree to be planted in front of their homes through the Yale School of the Environment Urban Resources Initiative.