NYC Parks Department Sets Record with Over 13,100 Trees Planted in 2023

NYC Parks Department Sets Record with Over 13,100 Trees Planted in 2023

The New York City Parks Department is making significant strides in protecting and expanding the urban forest. In the fiscal year of 2023, they have planted an impressive 13,154 trees across the five boroughs as of June 3. This achievement not only marks the highest tree-planting total in the past six fiscal years but also signifies two consecutive years of tree-planting growth. The Parks Department’s goal is to plant a total of 14,900 trees by the end of June.

NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue expressed her excitement, saying, “Since day one of my tenure as Parks Commissioner, I have made it our mission to continue our work of protecting and expanding the city’s urban forest, and today we are celebrating yet another milestone in our tree planting efforts.”

To reach their goals, the Parks Department is actively recruiting and onboarding new contractors, with a special focus on minority and women-owned business enterprises. They have brought in seven new contractors since 2021, contributing to an increased pool of bidders for tree planting contracts. Under these contracts, nearly 4,400 trees have been planted.

The Parks Department is also prioritizing tree plantings in heat-vulnerable neighborhoods. Guided by the Heat Vulnerability Index (HVI), over 5,700 new trees have been planted in these neighborhoods in the fiscal year of 2023. Some of the neighborhoods benefiting from this initiative include Williamsbridge, Woodlawn, East Flatbush, Bushwick, Central Harlem, East Harlem, Hunters Point, and Sunnyside.

Thanks to $136 million in funding allocated by the mayor’s office, the Parks Department plans to plant trees in every viable location in HVI-4 and HVI-5 neighborhoods by 2026. This investment will contribute to expanding the urban tree canopy and promoting climate justice in communities with high heat vulnerability.

Victoria Cerullo, Acting Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice, highlights the positive impact of these tree plantings, stating, “These trees will improve air quality, enhance our city’s parks and open spaces, and cool neighborhoods vulnerable to the impacts of extreme heat.”

Aside from planting new trees, the Parks Department is actively caring for more than 800,000 mapped trees that grace New York City’s streets and parks. In December 2022, they also launched the NYC Tree Map, further engaging the community in tree care and appreciation.

With their continued efforts and commitment to protecting and expanding the urban forest, the NYC Parks Department is making a tangible difference in the city’s green spaces. Join Tips Tree Planting on their website to learn more about tree planting techniques and how you can contribute to a healthier and greener environment.

Tips Tree Planting

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