The environmental and political news that confronts us daily from across the globe is daunting. But in the midst of these collective troubles, New York City celebrated a real milestone today: the city has planted over one million new trees, two years ahead of schedule.
The trees were planted as part of MillionTreesNYC, a public-private partnership between the city’s Parks Department and Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project. Since its launch in 2007, MillionTreesNYC has expanded the city’s urban forest by nearly 20 percent, and has become an “unprecedented…urban environmental movement,” says the Mayor’s Office.
MillionTreesNYC received more than $350 million in city funds during the Bloomberg administration, and NYRP contributed an additional $30 million through private funding.
More trees to come!
The de Blasio administration says it will plant an additional 150,000 new trees over the next three years as part of its sustainability and climate resiliency plan, OneNYC.
The city will be planting trees “strategically”—using them to combat heat islands, help with stormwater mitigation, and bolster its new Parks without Borders initiative, which “envisions a seamless public realm that improves access to public space and uses trees to create green pathways and boundaries.”
To celebrate today’s occasion, Mayor de Blasio planted tree number 1,017,634, an American linden, at Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx.
Also present at the celebration was former mayor Michael Bloomberg, who observed, “we planted tree number one just down the road eight years ago and we’ve added one million more thanks to the dedication of so many.”
Fifty-thousand New Yorkers have volunteered with MillionTreesNYC.
“Each new tree planted makes our city a little more beautiful, the air we breathe a little cleaner, and our carbon footprint a little smaller,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “MillionTreesNYC was an important part of our comprehensive sustainability plan, which has led to New Yorkers breathing the cleanest air our city has had in 50 years.”
To learn more and get involved with the city’s greening and stewardship efforts, visit www.nyc.gov, call 311, or check out MillionTreesNYC.
One Million Trees: By the Numbers
Number of Trees Planted by Borough
- Bronx – 276,600
- Brooklyn – 182,593
- Manhattan – 80,016
- Queens – 284,755
- Staten Island – 173,134
- Borough unknown – 2,902
Number of Trees Planted by Type
- Street trees: 155,000 (+ 2,020 since planting of the Millionth Tree)
- NYC Park trees: 595,000 (+ 15,614 since planting of the Millionth Tree)
- Private and other open space trees: 250,000
Photo credit: Natural Areas Conservancy