Yonkers receives grant to plant more trees combatting heat island effect

Yonkers just received a $1 million grant from the federal government to support tree-planting efforts. The city says the extra trees should make it cooler, improve air quality and lead to greater public health and safety.
Parts of Yonkers suffer what is called the “Urban Heat Island Effect,” trapped heat from pavement and buildings that mainly impacts low-income, minority communities.
"Our downtowns are similar to a pizza oven," said Oded Holzinger, executive director of Groundwork Hudson Valley.
He says the new grant could help reduce those effects by funding more tree planting.
"Trees have many, many, many benefits," he said.
Holzinger says trees can absorb carbon dioxide, which is part of stopping climate change. They can also help soak up some of the rain the infrastructure can’t handle.
There's also a $5.5 million grant for Groundwork to expand job training.
"You're also creating a strong connection between the community and the product of that project," Holzinger said.
Planting trees isn't new, but Karen Tumelty, director of development, says this money will make a big difference.
"These two grants just really change the game for our ability to go at it full force," Tumelty said.