FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, April 12, 2008
20,000 Trees Planted in New York City
Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, City Council Member Robert Jackson, Assembly Member Herman "Denny" Farrell, New York Cares Executive Director Ariel Zwang, HSBC Bank President & CEO Paul Lawrence, Riverside Park Fund Executive Director James Dowell and New York Cares volunteers to launch Hands on New York Day and plant a tree at Riverside Park. It was one of 20,000 planted on Saturday across New York City and one of the million trees to be planted over the next decade as part of MillionTreesNYC.
“Thanks to New York Cares and Hands on New York Day volunteers for digging in and planting 20,000 trees throughout the five boroughs as part of MillionTreesNYC, a citywide initiative to plant one million trees by 2017,” said Commissioner Benepe. “New Yorkers made history today by pitching in and participating in the largest single-day tree planting effort ever coordinated in our city. Thanks to the hard work of New York Cares volunteers and the generous support of HSBC Bank, we are closer to our goal of expanding our urban forest by 20 percent and enjoying environmental benefits such as cleaner air and water, lower temperatures, lower energy costs, a beautified urban landscape, and a healthy, more sustainable city. Spring is a great time to get growing, and there’s no better time to plant than April 2008, which is MillionTreesNYC Month.”
“This is our largest ever Hands On New York Day, with more than 6,500 volunteers coming out to green New York City today,” said Ariel Zwang, Executive Director of New York Cares. “This year, with the generous support of HSBC, we've been able to expand the event to meet more critical needs across the city, making it possible for thousands more volunteers to get involved. Working with MillionTreesNYC, our volunteers planted an astonishing 20,000 trees in one day -- that’s enough trees to fill an entire new Central Park. Hands On New York Day is another example of the amazing community spirit that makes New York City great - rain or shine!”
More than 6,500 volunteers from New York Cares spruced up parks, gardens and community spaces in all five boroughs during the 14th annual Hands on New York Day, sponsored by HSBC Bank. Of that number, more than 1,000 volunteers planted 20,000 trees – the most trees ever planted in New York City on a single day.
Among the many planting sites were Canarsie Park in Brooklyn where 5,000 trees were planted, Kissena Park in Queens where 3,800 trees were planted, Mount Loretto in Staten Island where 2,500 trees were planted, Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx where 1,400 trees were planted, and Fort Washington Park in Manhattan where 700 trees were planted.
By Mayoral proclamation, April is MillionTreesNYC Month, sponsored by BNP Paribas. Coinciding with the beginning of spring, it aims to raise public awareness and involve New Yorkers in MillionTreesNYC, a public-private partnership between the Parks Department and Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project, through which one million trees will be planted and cared for throughout the five boroughs by 2017.