Stimulus funds paid for trees in high-income Denver neighborhoods

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About $600,000 in federal stimulus funds were used to plant trees in some of Denver’s priciest neighborhoods at no cost to homeowners, according to a KCNC-TV report.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program had no income guidelines, so trees were planted in upscale areas of the city at about $150 apiece, the station reported.

City forester Rob Davis said the now-defunct program was developed to help boost the economy by creating tree-planting jobs and to provide homeowners with long-term savings in energy costs.

“It’s open to anybody,” Davis told the station. “It’s basically if you live in Denver, you want to reduce your energy costs, you want to have a tree that can raise your property value, go to the web page to sign up.”

John Backlund, who lives in a home worth more than $700,000, told the station he agreed to take a tree after he was approached by a government worker going door-to-door trying to give them away.

“Too good of a deal to say no to. I was happy to get the free tree,” Backlund said.

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