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Sioux Falls receives $3 million USDA grant for tree restoration

Bryan Peterson Urban Forestry Specialist with Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation
Evan Walton
Bryan Peterson Urban Forestry Specialist with Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation

The United States Department of Agriculture is awarding the city of Sioux Falls a $3 million grant for tree restoration.

The grant is aimed at reviving tree life in disadvantaged neighborhood areas.

Bryan Peterson is an Urban Forestry Specialist with Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation. He said the grant will create the ability to plant thousands of trees.

“With this one grant, we are estimating, and again, an estimate, is about 2,500 trees that we will be planting with this single grant,” said Peterson.

Peterson said the grant also provides money for the city to provide maintenance to the newly planted trees for two growing seasons.

U.S. census data will inform where the new trees are planted.

Peterson said the city will reach out to qualifying homeowners.

“We informed the city council last week that Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation will use the money to execute what we are calling the ‘Communi-Tree’ assistance program. With the ‘Communi-Tree’ program, trees will be planted on the street right of way with the permission of the abutting property owners and at no cost to them," said Peterson. "As we plant trees we will work to increase tree diversity to increase forest health and reduce the impact of forest pests as seen with Dutch Elm Disease and Emerald Ash Borer.”

The city will begin planting trees between 2025 and 2027 with a final tree maintenance and assessment in 2028.

Evan Walton is an SDPB reporter based in Sioux Falls. Evan holds a Master’s in English Literature from Southern New Hampshire University and was honorably discharged from the United States Army in 2015, where he served for five years as an infantryman.