Gold shovels surround tree to be planted at Joyce Kilmer...
THE BRONX, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2015/11/20: Gold shovels surround tree to be planted at Joyce Kilmer Park.  | Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Trees have become a contentious piece of Democrats’ Build Back Better Act, the budget reconciliation bill that encompasses sweeping social and environmental programs. Congressional Republicans have seized on the $3 billion in the proposed nearly $2 trillion bill earmarked for planting trees, with a focus on boosting ‘tree equity’ — despite the fact that this is a strategy that experts say could reduce health disparities in cities.

While opponents have called the tree equity provisions an indicator of Democrats’ “reckless spending spree” and a “waste [of] even more taxpayer dollars,” in reality, disparities in tree coverage across American cities are a huge problem that affects heat exposure, air quality and more, with serious...

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Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 4:14pm