Federal Stimulus Funds Paid For Trees In Wealthy Neighborhoods

$600,000 in federal stimulus used to plant trees

September 27, 2013

Residents of Denver’s wealthiest neighborhoods claim that a government worker went door-to-door in their neighborhoods giving away trees, according to KCNC. The 4,000 trees were part of a stimulus effort aimed at jump-starting the economy. "This fella said, ‘How would you like to have a tree in your yard?’ And I said, ‘Really?,’ " said John Backlund, who lives in Denver’s Cherry Creek North neighborhood in a home appraised at more than $700,000.

The tree program had no income guidelines, meaning that trees were planted everywhere.City forester Rob David admitted, "It’s open to anybody. It’s basically if you live in Denver, you want to reduce your energy costs, you want to have a tree that can raise your property value, go to the web page to sign up."

The program spent about $600,000 in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment act. They used this money to buy and plant the trees. The program reasoned that the government funds jump-start the economy by creating jobs for those who planted the trees. Each tree cost about $150. Davis cited energy savings (fully grown trees will provide shade and cut energy costs) as a long-term benefit. The program has since closed and no more trees will be planted using stimulus funds.

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