NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

10 Ways to Make Your Neighborhood Greener This Spring

The path to a healthier planet can start on your block. This spring, take some simple steps to make your neighborhood stronger and greener. Pick one to get started and get growing!

1. Grow a garden

Add beauty and nature to your block by planting flowers that attract birds and butterflies. Save money and inspire your community to eat fresh foods by growing your favorite herbs and vegetables.

Need help getting your garden started? Join gardening workshops with our community gardeners at GreenThumb and Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

2. Care for the trees on your block

NYC’s street trees give back to the environment as they grow—and you can see it for yourself! They clean our air by filtering out harmful gases, keep us cool and save on energy bills, strengthen our soil to prevent erosion, trap stormwater run-off to prevent flooding, and provide shelter and food for wildlife, such as birds and squirrels.

Find your neighborhood street trees on our new NYC Street Tree Map—see how your street tree keeps your block healthy. You can keep track of how much you’ve cared for a tree, and get involved with street tree events near you.

Does your block need more trees? Find out how you can have a tree planted on your sidewalk  

3. Ride a bike

Riding a bike not only keeps you active and gets you out exploring, but also helps to reduce pollution levels in the city. Riding a bike requires no fuel, unlike most cars, buses, and other motor vehicles that release toxic gas into the city we love. Get moving on your bike today! Grab the NYC Bike Map and plan your next trip to work, to hang out, or to visit your loved ones. Don’t own a bike? Find out how you can rent a bike in NYC!

4. Help your neighbors spruce up local parks

Join neighbors coming together this month to plant, paint, and clean up their local parks for spring! Volunteering with a local group is the best way to meet your neighbors and support ways you can make your parks and neighborhood better. Find an upcoming Spring Cleaning event

5. Become an advocate for your neighborhood park

What would you like to see in your park? Connect with an Outreach Coordinator at Partnerships for Parks to learn how you can make your park better, whether you’re looking to organize a care group or to suggest new facilities and programming. Learn more about how People Make Parks

6. Plant trees in NYC’s forest

We’re making NYC greener by planting more trees in parks and caring for young forest! Trees clean our air, keep our city cool, and provide food and safe homes for wildlife. Want to help out? Volunteer with our Stewardship Team

7. Request a greening project for your social group or company

Bring your pals together to help care for local parks! Whether your team has a project in mind or is just looking to pitch in, we’re here to help you get started. And we’ll provide the tools you need! Learn more about requesting a project for your group

8. Recycle responsibly

Trash dumped at landfills harm our environment by sending toxins in our air, soil, and water. To help make our environment cleaner and greener, the City is encouraging New Yorkers to pledge zero waste to landfills by 2030. Find fun ways you can recycle your trash, compost food scrap, and re-purpose yard waste—Take the Pledge!

9. Use Open Data to activate your next social good project

Without leaving your home, you can use our city’s Open Data to grow stronger communities. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a data expert—we’ll teach you how to use it. Learn about upcoming Open Data for All workshops

10. Report parks in need of care

Through 311, you can report trash in the parks, damaged play equipment, sick or dying trees, and more! 311 will give you a confirmation number you can use to track our progress. Report a park in need of care

Was this information helpful?