KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City has received a $12 million federal grant to make the city greener.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service will allow Kansas City to plant and maintain trees, expand urban green spaces, combat extreme heat and climate change, and improve access to nature.

The U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program received $1.5 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act, leading to federal grants for 385 recipients.

It’s the only program in the U.S. federal government dedicated to enhancing the country’s urban forest resources, and all the funding goes to disadvantaged communities.

“The city now has an opportunity to substantially increase tree cover that will combat the urban heat island effect, boost equitable access to green spaces, and help mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis — all while creating good-paying jobs and strengthening our forestry workforce,” U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II said in a release.

The congressman said studies show trees in communities are associated with improved physical and mental health, lower average temperatures during extreme heat and more.