It looks like Greenpoint is about to get a whole lot greener. Thanks to a nearly $2 million grant from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, the Brooklyn neighborhood will soon be able to plant 500 new trees. The funds are part of a $19.5 million settlement that the state hashed out with ExxonMobil over an oil spill the company was responsible for in the area over three decades ago.
Led by the City Parks Foundation, the “Greening Greenpoint” tree-planting project is one of six initiatives that will share in the large settlement payout. The current plan calls for hundreds of new trees planted along the streets as well as in the neighborhood’s local parks. Additionally, the “urban forestry plan” includes removal of 25,000 square feet of concrete around 675 existing tree beds, further enhancing the amount of green space in the area.
The grant funds will also be used to educate local school children by offering 10 high school juniors and seniors paid urban and community forestry internships. Local schools and community participants called “tree stewards” will be trained properly to take care of the new plantings.
In addition to the new trees, the Greenpoint Library will also benefit from the funds in the way of a $5 million LEED-certified makeover and new outdoor rooftop classroom. Another $1.4 million was awarded to an environmental education project in four local schools.