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Arizona schools can apply for grants to plant more trees

Roughly $300,000 in this year’s state budget went to a Trees for Kids program aimed at making public and charter school campuses more lush.

Supporters held a news conference at the Arizona Capitol on Wednesday to say the money is now available to certain schools.

Dionne Washington with Project Roots wants fruit-bearing trees native to the Sonoran Desert.

“By cooling and shading outdoor areas, we’re mitigating the dangerous impacts of extreme heat and pollution. All while expanding students’ access to benefits of play,” said Washington.

Schools with fewer than 75% of students eligible for free or reduced lunch cannot apply for the grant until Jan. 1, 2024.

Schools can apply at  treesforkidsaz.org.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.