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Gresham’s Rockwood neighborhood to breathe cleaner air with the help of nearly $1 million from EPA

Multnomah County will use the federal funding to improve climate resiliency and environmental justice in the historically underserved community.

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The Rockwood neighborhood is listed as a disadvantaged community on the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool.

Photo via city of Gresham

Multnomah County just got nearly $1 million to help boost climate resilience in Gresham’s Rockwood neighborhood.

The money ($999,587) is from the US Environmental Protection Agency. The Multnomah County Public Health Division is tasked with using it over the next three years to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions in the historically underserved community.

The county will work with the city of Gresham, Friends of Trees, and other local organizations on a four-pronged approach that involves:

  • Training community health workers on environmental justice and climate resilience to help raise awareness neighborhood-wide.
  • Planting trees to combat heat islands, or pockets within a community that experience higher temperatures due to a lack of tree canopy combined with a lot of pavement.
  • Replacing old heating and cooling systems with energy-efficient heat pumps.
  • Green jobs training for youth focused on air monitoring technology.