What does it take to strengthen New York City’s urban environment? MillionTreesNYC was launched on Earth Day 2007 to answer that call. That is, 250,000 trees have been planted in the name of reforestation, revitalization and urban environmental health, as well as beautification. In conjunction with this successful call to action, New Yorkers have donated their time and resources to proper planting of these trees through interactive tutorials with staff from the Parks Department, New York Restoration Project and MillionTreesNYC crew. The program continues through workshops and stewardship participation to ensure the survival of the newly planted young trees during their first years in which property managers, business owners, schools, block associations and more have participated in this empowering and inspirational action against climate change. This is an ambitious and aggressive, ongoing project to its goal of completion in 2017.
The City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation
As the department of government that maintains over 1700 parks across the five boroughs, the Parks Department is also the principal provider of recreational and athletic facilities and programs. The Parks Department is responsible for maintaining the city's parks system, preserving and maintaining the ecological diversity of the city's natural areas, and furnishing recreational opportunities for the City's residents and visitors. Parks & Recreation is the steward of 29,053 acres of land — 14 percent of New York City —including more than 4,000 individual properties ranging from Yankee Stadium and Central Park to community gardens and Greenstreets. They operate more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds. They manage four major stadia, 550 tennis courts, 61 public pools, 48 recreational facilities, 17 nature centers, 13 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. The Parks Department cares for 1,200 monuments and 22 historic house museums and look after 600,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. They are home to free concerts, world-class sports events and cultural festivals. http://www.nycgovparks.org/
On Earth Day 2007, Mayor Bloomberg launched a 127 initiatives plan to rectify five key dimensions of the city’s environment—land, air, water, energy, and transportation—by the year 2030. With the anticipated influx of resident population to increase to nearly a million people, 250,000 new affordable and sustainable homes are to be established. To ensure that every New Yorker is within 10 minutes walking distance of a park, the city will invest in new recreational facilities across the five boroughs—opening schoolyards as local playgrounds and reclaiming undeveloped sites that were designated as parks but never completed; and make existing brown field clean up programs more efficient and faster. With transportation contributing more than 50% of local air pollution, the plan will focus on reducing emissions from on and off-road vehicles; buildings will be retrofitted to emit cleaner energy while power plants will be retired; and by planting a million trees we will achieve a natural purer air quality solution, effectively bringing this large city to be the cleanest in the United States. With an aging waterway system and an infrastructure that…….To improve travel times and alleviate congestion, the plan will encompass To check on the progress of this plan or to read more visit: http://www.nyc.gov/html/planyc2030/html/home/home.shtml
New York Restoration Project
In 1995, performer Bette Midler stepped in as NYC’s Mayor Giuliani was making plans for commercial and parking space developments over unused lots across the boroughs. Saving a total of 114 of these spaces, New York Restoration Project and a new clean up and green up New York City initiative was born. NYRP’s ongoing dedication to economically disadvantaged neighborhoods is continually reshaping community garden spaces, parks, and since its early inception, revamped its headquarters at Sherman Creek Center and Swindler Cove Park. To date, this non-profit organization has, in partnership with the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation, developed and maintains the MIllionTreesNYC program as its primer high profile initiative of just one of the many greening and sustainability actions taking place in New York City. New York Restoration Project is committed to burgeoning neighborhoods in need through its influential education programs. By encouraging teachers and students to utilize community gardens to as hands-on classrooms, a reshaping of the urban landscape called home is underway. With its strategic planning and expanded mission since its inception 15 years ago, NYRP is making its way to becoming the “primer non-profit organization dedicated to protecting, expanding and beautifying open space throughout the city’s five boroughs.” www.nyrp.org
Natural Resources Group
Founded in 1984 by former New York City Parks Department Commissioner Henry J. Stern, the Natural Resources Group is recognized internationally for its pioneering research in urban ecology, restoration and management. Most notably, efforts under the guidance of its founder have resulted in the largely restored Central Park in partnership with the Central Park Conservancy. With its team of biologists, natural resource managers, mapping scientists and restoration ecologists, NRG continues to develop and implement management programs for protection, acquisition, and restoration of the City's natural resources. Accolades attributed to this conservation group include Society for Ecological Restoration's International Sperry Award, the National Wetlands Award, the Chevron–Times Mirror Magazine North America Conservation Prize, the Nature Conservancy Oak Leaf Award, and the US EPA Environmental Quality Award. http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_about/parks_divisions/nrg/nrg_home.html