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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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FERC rule to spark energy transmission building nationwide; Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty to felony charges in AZ election interference case; new digital tool emerges to help MN students with FAFSA woes; WY governor to talk property tax shifts in a TeleTown Hall.

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Israel's Prime Minister calls the new ICC charges unfair. Trump's lawyers found more classified documents in Mar-a-Lago, months after an FBI's search. And a new report finds election deniers are advancing to the fall election.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

New online tool helps Boston grow tree equity

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Tuesday, February 20, 2024   

A new online tool is helping community groups in Boston ensure all neighborhoods reap the benefits from urban tree canopies. The Tree Equity Score Analyzer, or TESA, was created by the national nonprofit, American Forests to help communities study disparities in tree coverage and develop planting scenarios, one census block at a time.

David Meshoulam, executive director of Speak for the Trees Boston, said trees provide numerous environmental and health benefits.

"We need to find ways to increase canopy, especially in communities that are most vulnerable to climate change that are going to face the burden of a hotter and dirtier environment," he said.

Meshoulam added increasing tree cover will help reduce the severity of so-called heat islands by naturally cooling entire blocks, and that the online tool helps analyze where plantings will have the greatest impact.

The TESA tool integrates data from urban areas across the country, including building density, temperature, existing tree canopy and more. Already groups in Boston, Providence and several other cities have used it to create plans they can bring to government agencies and nonprofits to request funding. Meshoulam said students at Boston Green Academy High School trained their fellow students to use TESA, exposing them to a vibrant new career.

"Not just a job but a career in urban forestry and tree care and tree planting and advocacy because there are really good jobs out there in this field," he explained.

Lawmakers in Massachusetts are also looking for ways to mitigate the impacts of climate change by creating a municipal reforestation program. New legislation would prioritize neighborhoods considered heat islands with less than 29% of tree canopy cover and provide state funding to implement community-driven plantings.


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