It’s one in a million! Well one in 1,017,634 to be exact. Mayor Bill de Blasio was joined by former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver and New York Restoration Project founder Bette Midler this morning at Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx as he planted an American linden to celebrate the success of NYRP and the New York Parks Department’s MillionTreesNYC initiative. Two years ahead of schedule and 17,634 trees over its original target, the Big Apple is now the first city in the U.S. to plant 1,000,000 new trees.
“Every New Yorker deserves the many benefits beautiful trees provide, no matter where they live or work,” said Deborah Marton, the executive director of New York Restoration Project. “With the planting of the 1 millionth tree in New York City, we have shown the world that it’s possible to bring green space to people everywhere –from backyards to sidewalks to neighborhoods. We’re proud to have collaborated with the city of New York on this truly innovative public-private partnership.”
MillionTreesNYC was launched by former mayor Mike Bloomberg in 2007 as part of NYC’s ambitious PlaNYC initiative to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. Since then, the project has increased the city’s urban forest by close to 20%, resulting in better air quality (a large tree can provide one day’s supply of oxygen for about four people), more shade, and an overall improvement on quality of life. Los Angeles, Denver and Boston each have their own similar tree-planting drives, but none have been as successful as New York City’s.
In celebration of the city’s momentous achievement, the Empire State Building plans to broadcast the good news by illuminating its lights in a brilliant forest green tonight.