Though New York is a booming metropolis, we need trees. Trees help clean our air and reduce pollutants that trigger asthma and other respiratory diseases. They cool our streets and homes on hot summer days and increase property value by making neighborhoods look nice.
Founded by the New York Parks Department and The New York Restoration Project, lead by none other than Bette Midler, MillionTreesNYC is a citywide collaboration with federal agencies and offices, private owners, architects, developers, corporations, small businesses, and non-profits. Everyone who is anyone has and is involved in the various programs the initiative has to offer.
MillionTreesNYC has a number of ways for people to take action beginning with simple gestures like planting one tree in your yard or donating to a tree planting site in the city. They also offer a number of volunteer planting events, tree compost and care workshops, and even free tree giveaways throughout the year. Volunteers are encouraged to plant a tree and submit a story about its effect on the neighborhood to the MillionTreesNYC website. Dedicated volunteers can also join the Stewardship Corps and adopt a tree in your neighborhood to look after and care for.
The City of New York will plant 60 percent of these trees in parks and other public spaces and the other 40 percent will be planted by private organizations, homeowners, and community organizations. The Parks department is planning on distributing their share of 200,000 trees by answering requests, identifying and planting 80 “Greenstreets” in traffic medians and triangles, and targeting blocks with few or no trees.
The Department of City Planning has also proposed new zoning changes that would require the planting of street trees in all new developments. Getting involved in planting trees around New York City is easy and fun and after Hurricane Irene, MillionTreesNYC and our communities need more help than ever. If Bette Midler can do it, so can you!
Lead image © Amanda Silvana Coen for Inhabitat