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Mayor Bloomberg Declares April 2008 MillionTreesNYC Month

FOR IMMEDIATE
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
No. 115
http://www.nyc.gov/parks

Mayor Bloomberg today issued a proclamation naming April 2008 as MillionTreesNYC Month in New York City. Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe presented the proclamation in Seward Park in Lower Manhattan. MillionTreesNYC Month, presented by BNP Paribas, coincides with the arrival of spring and seeks to raise public awareness for MillionTreesNYC, a public-private partnership between the Department of Parks & Recreation and Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project (NYRP) through which one million new trees will be planted and cared for throughout the five boroughs by 2017. Commissioner Benepe was joined by New York Restoration Project Executive Director Drew Becher, Head of Corporate Communications of BNP Paribas North America Michele Sicard, and third grade students from P.S. 134 and M.S. 131, all of whom assisted in the ceremonial planting of a crabapple tree to mark the start of MillionTreesNYC Month.

“I am happy to proclaim April as MillionTreesNYC month,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “There are planting events throughout the month all over the City; each one will bring us closer to our million tree goal. Spring is a time of growth and renewal, I encourage New Yorkers to participate in a planting or discover other ways to get involved in MillionTreesNYC month.”

“The Mayor’s proclamation is part of the City’s tree-mendous long-term commitment to ‘greening’ New York City,” said Commissioner Benepe. “Spring has arrived, and we hope that all New Yorkers will dig in and help plant, protect, and preserve our City’s trees. Whether it’s by planting trees in your own backyard, watering the street tree outside your apartment, participating in a free tree education workshop, or donating online, there are a myriad of ways individual New Yorkers – from novices to expert arborists – can participate in this exciting Citywide initiative and help move us towards our goal of creating a more healthy and sustainable City.”

During MillionTreesNYC Month in April 2008, all New Yorkers are encouraged to “think globally and plant locally” by joining the City’s historic undertaking to expand New York City’s urban forest by 20 percent. Throughout the month, Parks, NYRP, and MillionTreesNYC partners will host free Citywide events for the public, including Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 25) celebrations, tree education seminars, tree stewardship workshops, tree pruning instructional courses, and Urban Park Ranger tree identification hikes throughout the City. There will also be large-scale volunteer tree-planting events, including the planting of 20,000 trees in parks Citywide on Saturday, April 12 through New York Cares’ Hands on New York Day and Jet Blue and NYRP’s One Thing That’s Green Day. In addition, the MillionTreesNYC website has launched an interactive feature webpage called “My Tree” through which New Yorkers can join an online tree stewardship community by sharing personal anecdotes and photos of their favorite New York City trees. New Yorkers can also register the trees they plant on private property so those trees can be counted towards the one million tree goal. To access the “My Tree” webpage and a full calendar of events on the MillionTreesNYC official website, visit www.nyc.gov or call 311.

“MillionTreesNYC Month provides us an incredible opportunity to educate New Yorkers about the importance of taking action and planting trees,” said Drew Becher, Executive Director of New York Restoration Project. “During the last year we have seen the power of participation and want to invite our City’s homeowners, youth, business leaders and community organizations to dig in and help us reach our million tree goal.”

Through a mix of public and private plantings, MillionTreesNYC partners and citizen volunteers are planting in places such as schoolyards, public housing campuses, health care facilities, business districts, commercial and residential developments, front yards and other private lands. All New Yorkers will share in the many benefits that come from planting trees – more beautiful neighborhoods and parks; cleaner air and water; higher property values; energy savings; cooler summer streets, yards, and public open spaces; and a healthier, more environmentally sustainable City.

MillionTreesNYC Month is sponsored by BNP Paribas, a European leader in global banking and financial services with a long-standing commitment to the environment and social responsibility. Through its sponsorship, BNP Paribas will donate 1,200 trees to home owners and families in designated “Trees for Public Health Neighborhoods” in early May. More than 200 BNP Paribas employees along with 200 students will also participate in a volunteer planting day on April 25 to commemorate Arbor Day, and will be raising funds internally through an employee fundraiser to adopt a school – for the purpose of making it more environmentally friendly – this fall. BNP Paribas is also creating a temporary greenhouse in Union Square as a venue to help encourage all New Yorkers to get involved in local sustainability initiatives and raise funds to support MillionTreesNYC. The Union Square Greenhouse will be present from April 26-29 and will be staffed with BNP Paribas volunteers.

“BNP Paribas is very excited to partner with MillionTreesNYC to help New York City change for the better,” said Everett Schenk, CEO of BNP Paribas North America. “This is an important initiative and aligned with BNP Paribas’ long term commitment to the environment and social responsibility.”

“As supporters of Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to make New York City this country’s greenest large City, we were pleased to create a strategic partnership between BNP Paribas and MillionTreesNYC to develop MillionTrees Month and further promote the PlaNYC campaign,” said NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta.

There are many ways to get involved in MillionTreesNYC:

· plant a tree in your yard;
· join a volunteer group planting trees in parks and on public land;
· request that the City plant street trees on your block;
· learn how to water, mulch, and prune trees;
· educate other New Yorkers on the importance of our urban forest; and
· become an advocate for trees.

To learn more about MillionTreesNYC, visit www.nyc.gov or call 311.

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Contact:

Stu Loeser/Jason Post (212) 788-2958

Jama Adams (Parks & Recreation) (212) 360-1311

Emily Lawi (NYRP) (212) 253-0474

Kimberly Spell/Carli Smith (NYC & Company) (212) 484-1270

Edwina Frawley-Gangahar (BNP Paribas) (212) 841-3719

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