New York, NY (September 15, 2010)- The Parks Department is asking city residents to adopt one of the more than 7,000 new trees that have come to Manhattan’s congested avenues and bustling side streets over the past few years, as part of the MillionTreesNYC initiative.
To make sure potential adoptive parents are prepared for the rigors of parenting street trees, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council hosted a tutorial in proper urban flora care Tuesday at LentSpace, a temporary tree nursery in Hudson Square.
“Up to this point, I had no idea who or what took care of street trees,” said workshop attendee Christian Gloddy, 34, who lives in the East Village and writes software. As of now, only 1,372 new street trees out of the 60,000 planted citywide are receiving water, weeding and other services from official adoptive parents, said Ellen Arnstein, the special events and volunteer coordinator for MillionTreesNYC.
At Tuesday’s event, Jamie Daugherty, a forester with the Parks Department, gave workshops in tree parts and urban hazards and benefits before handing out certification cards qualifying attendees for tree adoption. Attendees also learned that more trees can lower heating bills (by providing shelter against high winds) and reduce crime (by encouraging a sense of community in outdoors spaces).
New tree adopters will commit to providing 20 gallons (or four buckets) of watering on a weekly basis, as well as monthly top soil cultivation and weeding sessions.
“It sounds silly, but they do have a special value,” said Catherine Bloch, a stage manager from Astoria who decided to participate in the program because she worried about the health of three trees visible from her own window. “Especially in New York,” said Bloch. “We don’t see a lot of green. We see a lot of
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