In response to Roy Moffett’s recent letter, “Up a tree,” in which he criticizes a plan to spend $5 million to plant trees in the valley:
It is obvious that Mr. Moffett is unaware of the finer details of the federal tree grant awarded to UNLV. The funds will be used to increase equitable access to trees and the quantification of the benefits trees provide, such as the cooling of city streets and improving air quality, public health and safety.
Specifically, the grant will provide funds for youth and adult education, community engagement, work force development and the establishment of a native tree nursery and, yes, the planting of 3,000 trees. The project will address tree canopy inequities in urban areas, where research has documented that poor neighborhoods have fewer trees, less shade, higher ambient temperatures and higher heat-related illnesses.
Mr. Moffett is correct we will be purchasing trees. But they will be purchased at a bulk rate of less than $50 per tree, not $1,667 per tree, which means Mr. Moffett’s calculation is more than 30 times higher than what the cost will actually be.
Almost anything will appear to be a “boondoggle” if you do not have the facts and you are using fuzzy math.