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Brooklyn residents should expect to see a lot more greenery over the next couple of years. Council Member Lincoln Restler on Wednesday announced a plan to plant 3,400 trees in vacant street tree pits across District 33 in an effort to max out the district’s street tree capacity. The city’s Parks Department has committed to planting 2,200 trees over the next four years, with Restler’s office calling upon the community to help fund the planting of an additional 1,200 trees.
District 33 encompasses a large swath of Brooklyn, starting at Greenpoint in the north and running south through Vinegar Hill, parts of Williamsburg, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, and portions of Downtown Brooklyn.
The tree plan stems from Restler’s Climate Action Roadmap that his office released in May, a comprehensive action plan that set five major goals rooted in climate justice that will set the district closer to carbon neutrality.
Costing $2.5 million, the 1,200 additional trees will be funded through both the District 33 Street Tree Fund, which will accept donations from community members and local businesses, and Restler’s office via discretionary dollars. According to Restler, a tree planted through this fund will cost roughly $2,600 compared to the Parks Department’s cost of around $3,500. Those who donate to the fund will be able to choose which neighborhood in the district the donation will go towards.
“When it comes to tackling the climate crisis, one of the solutions I hear most often is surprisingly simple – more trees,” Restler said. “Planting 3,400 trees in the 33rd District and mobilizing our neighbors to improve the health of street trees will go a long way toward reducing the urban heat island effect, making our community more beautiful, and making our neighborhood more resilient.”
The planting of additional street trees will increase the city’s tree canopy, working to reduce the prominence of the urban heat island effect, a phenomenon that disproportionately affects vulnerable community members in areas with a lack of tree canopy. The new trees will also have a variety of social, environmental, and economic benefits.
Restler’s plan includes collaboration with existing tree stewardship groups like the Greenpoint Tree Corps and the Brooklyn Heights Association tree team to create educational programming in neighborhoods across the district that will teach residents how to properly care for the newly planted trees.
The Council Member’s office will be hosting 10 tree pit care events during fall and spring, training tree pruners, and sharing tips on how to better care for street trees. The first two events are scheduled for November 19 in Brooklyn Heights and November 20 in Greenpoint, according to The City.
Those interested in signing up for District 33’s Tree Stewardship program can find more information here.
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