HOUSTON (KIAH) – Harris County Precinct 4 is set to announce that they are giving 2.1 million dollars to Alief street forest in honor of Earth Day. The precinct will use $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding as part of crime prevention through an environmental design initiative, planting 1,200 trees along 17 miles of roads in Alief.
Alief, a working-class area of Southwest Harris County, averages 10° hotter in the summer months than well-shaded areas of Houston. Alief has only an 11% tree canopy, compared to the Houston average of 33%.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, improving tree coverage is a simple and effective way to address the heat island effect.
A study published in the Journal of Public Economics found temperature increases are connected to increases in crime. In addition to reducing temperatures, these 1,200 trees will provide a positive environmental and health impact on the Alief community.