If you’ve been meaning to get a little closer to nature but can’t seem to get yourself off of the couch, you may soon be able to branch out to your favorite NYC tree via email, or rather “tree-mail.” Mark Levine, the Upper West Side council member who’s trying to open up North Brother Island to the public, is also interested in assigning individual email addresses to hundreds of NYC trees.
Although many would be quick to think that Levine is simply out of his tree, he appears to be fairly serious about the idea and his love of nature is endearing. “NYC is a tough place to be a tree,” Levine told Gothamist. “By giving each tree a unique e-mail address, it makes it really easy to report problems.” Asked to name his own favorite tree, he said,”It’s like asking me to pick my favorite child!”
And for those thinking Levine is going out on a limb with the idea, it’s actually not the first time a city has tried to bring residents closer to the surrounding nature via electronic communication. When Melbourne assigned individual trees email addresses in 2013, it was initially so that people could report on any problems. However, as reported by The Atlantic, many people chose to write love letters to their favorite trees instead.
One email excerpt from The Atlantic story:
“My dearest Ulmus,” the message began.
“As I was leaving St. Mary’s College today I was struck, not by a branch, but by your radiant beauty. You must get these messages all the time. You’re such an attractive tree.”
As far as Levin’s plan for NYC, the idea has yet to take root. When asked by Gothamist about where the funds would be found to run the program, Levine’s office was a bit shady, explaining that the only start-up costs would be the creation and printing of the signage for individual trees.