On Arbor Day, Twelve Community Boards Support Levine’s “Million More Trees” Plan

April 28, 2023

In celebration of Arbor Day, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine announced he has received the support of all 12 Community Boards from Harlem to Hollis.

He has received support for his ambitious “Million More Trees” initiative.

The vote to support the plan came earlier in the week during the MBPO’s monthly Borough Board Meeting, where representatives from the 12 CBs passed a full board resolution supporting the plan (full text of CB resolution can be found below). 

Click here To Read The Full Board Resolution.

“I am thrilled to celebrate the beauty and importance of our urban trees this Arbor Day with the announcement that we have secured the always-important endorsement of our Community Boards to plant a million more trees in NYC by 2030,” said Borough President Mark Levine. “Our trees play a critical role in maintaining a healthy environment and improving our quality of life, so it is critical that we start to grow the next generation of trees today for future New Yorkers. This vote of confidence from all of our CBs shows that support for a robust and lush urban forest is being grown from the roots up in our communities ” 

To help build support for the plan among Manhattanites, the BP also announced the kick-off of a “Tree-Mendous” competition to find the best tree in Manhattan.

Manhattanites are invited to snap a photo of their favorite tree in the borough and share the story of why it is special to them. The best trees from across Manhattan will be featured on LinkNYC digital kiosks. The winning tree will be chosen based on its visual appeal and significance to the community and will be awarded a proclamation from the Office of the Manhattan Borough President.

“I encourage all Manhattanites to branch out and participate in this competition and help us raise awareness about the value of our urban forest. Together, we will put the ‘can’ in canopy and work toward a greener and healthier Manhattan..”

This competition is part of the office’s ongoing efforts to expand the tree canopy in the city through the Million More Trees initiative – a vision to plant one million trees across the five boroughs over the next decade to protect New Yorkers from climate change’s impacts and environmental risks, including decreasing the urban heat island effect, managing stormwater, reducing flooding from storms, and reducing air pollution. 

The BP’s push also focuses on a citywide goal of achieving at least 30% tree canopy cover by 2035, adding more than 15,000 acres of the canopy to the city and ensuring that the urban forests’ benefits reach everyone equitably.

The plan would also tackle a major health crisis facing the city by decreasing the urban heat island effect. Communities of color and those with lower incomes typically have fewer trees, which accounts for drastic temperature differences between neighborhoods. 

These communities consistently record higher temperatures in the warmer months than elsewhere in the city, causing serious health and quality-of-life issues. The initiative would prioritize plantings in these neighborhoods to reduce heat vulnerability.

Black New Yorkers are twice as likely to die from heat exposure than white New Yorkers, according to the City’s Department of Health.

Black New Yorkers are twice as likely to die from heat exposure than white New Yorkers, according to the City’s Department of Health. Overall, heat contributes to about 350 deaths in the city each summer – far more than cold, which contributes to an average of 15 deaths.

Participants can submit their entries via the MBP’s social media channels or send their submission to: https://www.manhattanbp.nyc.gov/initiatives/million-more-trees/

Contact in social media on Twitter @MBPMarkLevine, Facebook facebook.com/MBPMarkLevine and Instagram @MBPMarkLevine

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