To commemorate MillionTreesNYC Month in April, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and New York Restoration Project (NYRP) are inviting all New Yorkers to "put down roots" by planting a tree in their front or backyard, registering a newly planted tree online, volunteering for a community tree planting or watering day, or making a donation.
To celebrate spring planting season in April, the Put Down Roots program is distributing up to two free trees to homeowners in the Queens neighborhoods of St. Albans and Jamaica. Through door-to-door canvassing, a direct mail campaign and advertising efforts that culminated in March, homeowners in St. Albans and Jamaica were invited to order trees online and via a special hotline. In addition to the targeted tree planting activities in the two Queens neighborhoods, Put Down Roots is engaging community and non-profit partners to host tree giveaways in all five boroughs, as well as encouraging New Yorkers purchasing trees at local nurseries and garden centers to register them online through an in-store education program.
"MillionTreesNYC Month in April is the perfect time for New Yorkers to dig in, plant trees, and get involved in making their communities greener to improve our city's environment and public health," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "Feeling green with Earth Day and Arbor Day coming up? It's easy to get involved this month - you can receive a free tree to plant in your front or backyard, volunteer to plant trees in parks across the five boroughs, take a free tree care workshop, and spread the word about the importance of caring for our environment."
Throughout the month of April, MillionTreesNYC is sponsoring a series of community and volunteer activities that advance the initiative's tree-planting and care goals. Highlights include:
Homeowner Tree Giveaways (April and May) - MillionTreesNYC is partnering with community-based organizations to give 2,300 trees away to homeowners, community gardeners, block associations and business owners at nine tree giveaway events citywide. Through the support of David Rockefeller and Bloomberg Philanthropies, the program offers up to two free trees to each individual. For tree giveaway details, visit www.milliontreesnyc.org.
Put Down Roots/One Thing That's Green Day (Saturday, April 17) - JetBlue Airways employees and hundreds of community volunteers will distribute and help plant trees in homeowners' front and backyards in Jamaica, Queens. To register to volunteer, visit www.jetblue.com/trees
Earth Day Corporate Challenge (Thursday, April 22, 2010) - To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, NYRP and City Year are joining forces for a second year to challenge some of New York City's corporate leaders to plant more than 100 street trees in Upper Manhattan's Washington Heights. To get your company involved, contact Jimmy Owens, NYRP Corporate Giving Manager, at (212) 333-2552.
NYC Parks Reforestation Day (Saturday, April 24) - more than a thousand community volunteers will join the NYC Parks Department in planting 20,000 trees in a single day at 16 park sites across the city's five boroughs. To register to volunteer, visit www.milliontreesnyc.org.
NYC Grows (Sunday, April 25) - NYRP and the NYC Parks Department, along with presenting sponsor Organic Gardening magazine, invite New Yorkers to this annual, free outdoor festival that promotes community gardening, tree planting and care, urban farming and sustainable living. Tree-planting and care demonstrations will be provided throughout the day in the MillionTreesNYC pavilion area. To learn more, visit www.nyrp.org/nycgrows.
Arbor Day Celebration (Friday, April 30) - To commemorate Arbor Day, MillionTreesNYC lead sponsors The Home Depot Foundation, Toyota and BNP Paribas will bring their employees out to dig in and green a Brooklyn residential development. New York City residents are invited to celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree in their yard or by adopting a street tree and watering and protecting it all year long. To learn more, visit www.milliontreesnyc.org.
MillionTreesNYC Lecture Series (Mondays in May) - To keep the MillionTreesNYC momentum moving beyond April, a series of lectures focused on innovations in tree planting and maintenance, public policy and urban forestry research will be presented each Monday throughout the month of May. For dates, times and locations of lectures, visit www.milliontreesnyc.org.
"New York Restoration Project is excited to be celebrating MillionTreesNYC Month by assisting New York City homeowners in planting free trees in their front and backyards," said Faisal Al-Juburi, NYRP Vice President of MillionTreesNYC. "In order for us to reach our million tree goal, it's going to take more than 300,000 homeowners to commit to planting trees on their yards and as a result, green their neighborhoods and improve the health of their community."
MillionTreesNYC is a component of Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC blueprint to create a healthier, more sustainable city, and is a public-private partnership led by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and New York Restoration Project (NYRP). Officially launched by Mayor Bloomberg and NYRP Founder Bette Midler in October 2007, the initiative has set the ambitious goal of planting and caring for one million new trees across New York City's five boroughs by 2017. As a result, MillionTreesNYC will increase New York's tree canopy by more than 20 percent - realizing the many environmental, health and economic benefits that come with planting trees. To date, the program has planted more than 316,000 trees citywide.
The MillionTreesNYC initiative is generously underwritten by David Rockefeller, Bloomberg Philanthropies and lead sponsors The Home Depot Foundation, Toyota and most recently, BNP Paribas. This spring, the Put Down Roots homeowner tree-planting program is being supported by JetBlue Airways. For more information about MillionTreesNYC, visit www.milliontreesnyc.org or call 311.