Who Are The “Love Your Street Tree Day” participants:

Spearheaded by Melissa Elstein, Founding Board Member of The West 80s Neighborhood Association, Kim Johnson owner of Curb Allure tree guards, and Debby Kaplan of Goddard Riverside Greenkeepers (originally along with Elizabeth Ewell and now in her memory), Love Your Street Tree Day is a coalition of NYC volunteers, elected officials, community leaders, local businesses, government agencies, neighbors, schools, academia, and non-profits. We have joined to bring awareness to the importance and benefits of our NYC street trees, teach best best practices for caring for them, removing litter and reducing single-use throwaway items (such as plastic bags and plastic straws), and educating about the health and environmental hazards of dog waste. Originally founded in the West 80s of the Upper West Side of Manhattan, our events now attract urban tree lovers throughout the city. We hope “Love Your Street Tree Day” events can be a model for the rest of the city. 

Co-sponsors have included:

Why Love Your Street Tree?

There are many neglected trees and tree beds in neighborhoods throughout NYC. The accumulation of garbage, dog waste, cigarettes, and litter that end up staying in the wells are not only an eye-sore, but are also unhealthy for the trees and to humans. Additionally, NYC has been trying to eradicate the rats population, and all the dog waste and garbage have contributed to our growing rat problem.

Properly maintained tree beds with permeable soil also serve an important environmental purpose in catching rain/ storm water and preventing more sewage waste from being diverted into the Hudson River each time it rains.

Finally, our project will hopefully help to protect the young "Million Trees" that have been newly planted by the NYC Parks Department and NY Restoration Project, and contribute to their higher survival rates.  We also want to nurture the mature trees and ensure their long-term survival as well.

Well-maintained trees and tree beds have economic, environmental and health benefits, such as:

  • increasing a building’s and neighborhood’s value
  • bringing more foot traffic into stores
  • reducing crime
  • improving citizens’ emotional well-being
  • providing shelter for animals and birds
  • reducing asthma rates
  • reducing air pollution
  • absorbing rainwater thus diverting sewage from waterways in combined sewage systems
  • reducing the rodent population