Taking Root conducted an informal survey at the New York State Arborists Conference in Syracuse September 17-18.

We said: Under President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the Federal government has just allocated over one billion dollars for 400 projects involving trees and green spaces in all 50 states, territories, and tribal communities. Including nearly 13.5 million for New York State!

Question: What’s your reaction to the news of the IRA funding?

Answers ranged from the positive to the euphoric to the equivocal and back again. Here are just a few of the responses.

Cliff Rose

Cliff Rose said, “Anything supporting trees is good.”

Joe Bonkowski

Joe Bonkowski told us, “For trees, good, as long as nothing else added to the bill.”

Don Gabel

Don Gabel said, “Agree that anything to do with trees is great!”

Clark Morehouse

Clark Morehouse said it simply: “Great!”

Mike Grande agreed: “Great!”

Eileen Snyder

Eileen Snyder said, “Finally a good use of MY money.”

Josh Galiley

Josh Galiley said, “Very excited!”

Ryan Niver

Ryan Niver said, “Great.”

Scott Cullen

Scott Cullen concurred: “Great!”

Gina and Brian Cooney

Gina Cooney said, “Sounds awesome!”

Will Vitagliano

Will Vitagliano: “Stoked!”

John Wickes expressed himself at greater length: “I’m excited for New York to receive this. However, I’m concerned that the target groups will not benefit due to the lack of qualified contractors and a history of using low bid instead of best value, especially on prevailing wage jobs.”

Rich Nelson said, “Overdue.”

Lori Brockelbank said, “More work for our crew!”

Mike Galvin

Mike Galvin told us: “I am increasingly seeing people value nature and greening. It is great to see that value be supported with funding. The $1.5B for urban forestry in the Inflation Reduction Act is something I have never seen, and never thought I would see. There have been a few successive waves of major tree support, like the America the Beautiful funds in the 60’s and the launch of the Urban & Community Forestry law and associated funding in the late 70’s, but this brings it to a whole new level – a transformative, once in a lifetime opportunity for our urban forests!”

Joe Conti said it more simply, “Fantastic news for trees!”

Michael Mahanna

Michael Mahanna: “The best news!”

Jeanne Grace

T. Thompson said, “Needed for treework in public spaces.”

Jeanne Grace said, “Great to see funding going to the environment.”