West Side’s Third Annual “Love Your Street Tree Day” Is Sunday, May 21. 2017
Event Empowers Neighbors to Become Stewards of Tree Beds & City Streets
Hosted by the West 80’s Neighborhood Association, in partnership with local elected officials, City agencies, non-profits and local businesses, “Love Your Street Tree Day” will empower local residents to become stewards of the trees and sidewalks of the Upper West Side.
This Sunday, community members will restore tree beds with mulch and compost, which allows trees to absorb more nutrients and rain water, reducing flooding and the amount of waste that is diverted into local waterways during storms.
Volunteers can also take part in an audit and cleanup of sidewalk and tree bed litter, the results of which will offer insight in how to reduce street trash in the future.
Formerly known as “Love Your Tree Day,” the event now includes “Street” in its title to highlight a broader emphasis on urban street trees and the streets and sidewalks themselves.
“Love Your Street Tree Day” kicks off this Sunday at noon at The Urban Assembly School for Green Careers (UAGC) garden on Amsterdam Avenue and West 84th Street, the largest school garden in New York City. Residents can pick up FREE tree care toolkits from the garden and clean up their favorite tree bed around the neighborhood.
Street tree bed care demonstrations will be led by Trees NY and Goddard Riverside Green Keepers, and welcome desks will be run by UAGC high school students.
High school students with the Nature Conservancy’s LEAF (Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future) will organize a trash audit to determine the composition of the neighborhood’s street litter, and give a mini-presentation on the environmental problems caused by plastic pollution.
As residents clean up litter, they will document their findings using a survey created by the students and deliver the results to Council Member Helen Rosenthal’s office as part of an ongoing effort to reduce litter in the neighborhood.
Made Possible by Local Businesses, Government & Community Groups
This Sunday’s tree care toolkits contain: gardening tools and supplies donated by Lowe’s and Beacon Paint & Hardware; a much in demand “Love Your Tree” curb your dog sign donated by West 80s Neighborhood Association; reusable bags from Curb Allure tree guards; compostable bags from Commit To Green™; and educational items from Trees NY.
Mulch and compost for the tree beds were donated by the NYC Parks Department and the New York Restoration Project. Tree bed flowers were donated by Goddard Riverside Greenkeepers.
Residents who come to volunteer will be offered eats donated by Jacob’s Pickles restaurant and pour over service donated by Irving Farm Coffee Roasters. Participating high school students are learning event management through a program run by the Insurgo Project and Jacob’s Digs, a non-profit created by Jacob’s Pickles to support urban farming in New York City.
“The Upper West Side has too much litter, too many rats, and too many tree beds in need of attention. On Love Your Street Tree Day, we will join together as a community to clean up tree beds and sidewalks, improve soil health with mulch and compost, and place ‘curb your dog’ signs in tree beds as a reminder to protect these tiny green spaces that dot our streets. This event is a festive way for neighbors to take care of the neighborhood,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
“I’m happy that the Department of Sanitation is participating in an event that beautifies not only the trees and sidewalks in our community but also allows local high school students to do a trash audit to determine the composition of neighborhood street litter”, Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia has said. “The result of their audit could show new ways on reducing waste and keeping our streets clean in the future. The compost and mulch used to restore tree beds comes from City residents who see the value in things that were thrown away. Every aspect of this event helps the City move toward its goal of zero waste to landfills by 2030.”
“In our efforts to create and maintain thriving parks and public spaces for New Yorkers across the five boroughs, we are happy to celebrate the Third Annual Love Your Street Tree Day. This initiative is about caring for and protecting our communities, and we are happy to be a part of that,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP.
“While New York has many wonderful sights and cultural institutions, one thing we can all agree on is that we could use more green around us! As Chair of the Arts and Parks Committee, I know the offset between the two in New York City better than anyone. Thankfully, with over half a million street trees around the city, we each have a little piece of green we can call our own. This year for Love Your Street Tree Day, we should come together to show appreciation for street trees throughout our neighborhoods. With over 52 species throughout the city, our street trees provide us with drainage and protection from exceptionally bad storms like Hurricane Sandy, they help clean our air, and serve as a great living place for our native wildlife and a nice resting place for those in migration. With the rollbacks of environmental regulations throughout the nation, it’s more important than ever to protect our diverse city streets and greenery,” said NY State Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell.
“Every day should be “Love your Street/Tree Day’,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan). “Today’s volunteers are remarkable advocates for our community, who are not only beautifying and protecting our neighborhood, but also helping to spread a message of environmental stewardship. I am so pleased to be a part of this event, and look forward to holding more in the future.”
“We are thrilled and grateful to see our NYC volunteer cleanup and tree bed beautification event, Love Your Street Tree Day, expand in scope and supporters this third year. From bringing awareness to the importance of our urban street trees and their care (especially after the completion of NYC’s ambitious Million Trees project) to connecting the dots of sidewalk litter and overflowing trashcans to the pollution of our local and global waters (especially plastic pollution), we join with other NYC citizens to make a NYC a greener and cleaner city! We also support the City’s laudable goal of reducing single-use throwaway items, increasing recycling compliance, and sending zero waste to landfill by 2030,” explains Melissa Elstein, co-founder of the non-profit West 80s Neighborhood Association and co-creator of this community event.
“We started this organization simply as a way to help street trees, and it has quickly grown not only in focus and geographic scope, but also in partnership participation. The interest and support of our most esteemed city officials and businesses on the Upper West Side, as well as nature and beautification partners citywide has more than doubled since our first year, and that is a gift that we certainly very much appreciate,” said Kim Johnson, Founder of Curb Allure.
“Love Your Street Tree Day is a wonderful example of a community coming together and neighbors getting to know each other better, reinforcing the values that bring us together for future generations,” said Jacob Hadjigeorgis, Owner of Jacob’s Pickles NY and Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Jacob’s Pickles Digs NY.
“Trees New York celebrated its 40th year of dedication to New York City’s urban forest. We are happy to roll up our sleeves for this tree stewardship event to enhance and preserve our street trees,” said Cheryl Blaylock, Director of Youth Programs for Trees NY.
“Goddard Riverside Green Keepers are honored to participate in this year’s “Love Your Street Tree Day”. As specialists in horticulture and street sanitation, we take pride in sharing the effort with our neighbors to keep our community beautiful,” said Elizabeth Ewell, Director of Goddard Riverside Green Keepers.
“The city landscape is an essential part of any neighborhood. Beautiful trees and vibrant plantings complement our historical fabric and contribute to our streetscapes. The benefits to our community are immeasurable which is why we are so happy to participate in this event,” said Josette Amato, Director of West End Preservation Society.
“Caring for public green spaces in New York involves educating the public about ways to keep neighborhoods healthy and thriving. Love Your Street Tree Day is a great event that does just that; it encourages community members to get involved and invest their time towards a greener local environment. We’re proud to sponsor Love Your Street Tree Day for the third year running,” said Robyn Bellamy, Executive Director at the Broadway Mall Association.
“The Upper West Side is, hands down, one of the most beautiful, livable, sustainable neighborhoods on the planet. Block by block, stoop by stoop, gargoyle by gargoyle, Landmark West! is dedicated to preserving the special character of this neighborhood. We are proud to co-sponsor this year’s Love Your Street Tree Day,” said Kate Wood, President at Landmark West!
Third Annual “Love Your Street Tree Day” Sponsors:
- West 80’s Neighborhood Association
- Council Member Helen Rosenthal
- Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal
- Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell
- Community Board 7 Manhattan
- NYC Parks
- Curb Allure tree guards
- Goddard Riverside Community Center Green Keepers
- Trees New York
- Beacon Paint & Hardware
- The Broadway Mall Association
- Commit to Green™
- The Insurgo Project
- Irving Farm Coffee Roasters
- Jacob’s Pickles & Jacob’s Digs
- The Nature Conservancy
- The New York Restoration Project
- The Urban Assembly School for Green Careers
- The West Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
- West End Preservation Society (“WEPS”)
- Landmark West!