JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Friday, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that USDA Forest Service is investing $16.8 million in projects tied to Mississippi, including $10 million to Jackson State University (JSU).

The funds will be used to increase access to trees and the social, health, and economic benefits they provide. Other Mississippi recipients include 2C Mississippi, Madison County, Wildlife Mississippi, National Baptist Convention USA, and Minority Farmers of the South.

“With this historic investment by the Biden-Harris Administration, we seek to minimize the negative impacts of climate change in underserved communities and to expand and improve tree canopy in urban areas that have lacked access to nature and community infrastructure in the past,” said USDA Under Secretary Dr. Homer Wilkes. “This project will bring new trees and expertise to not only this campus but the entire community. Jackson State is a perfect example of how urban forests and the people who rely on them are served by a whole range of programs.”

The funding, made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, is part of a historic $1.5 billion investment in the Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.