Press Releases

Tuesday, December 29, 2020
No. 68


NYC Parks / Daniel Avila

NYC Parks today celebrated the 500th tree planted in Manhattan as part of the East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) project’s neighborhood greening efforts. This marks the halfway point of Parks’ commitment to plant 1,000 trees on streets and in parks in the community surrounding ESCR--a $1.45B flood protection and park improvement project that will save lives for decades to come. The tree plantings are one of many improvement projects Parks committed to in order to mitigate the impacts of ESCR construction.

“Each tree helps to make our neighborhoods greener and healthier, and we are proud to expand our urban forest along Manhattan’s East Side while we work to improve waterfront parks and provide lifesaving flood protections through the ESCR project,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “By improving air quality, mitigating the urban heat island effect, and beautifying the area, these 500 trees will help serve the community while nearby parks are enhanced and made more resilient than ever.”

To date, Parks has planted 500 trees along streets and in parks from the Lower East Side to Midtown Manhattan. Along with the over 1,800 trees planned for East River Park, the planting effort will make the area lusher and greener by adding a total of 1,000 trees in Community Boards 3 and 6. The balance will be planted over the next two years.

“Trees act as lungs for our city,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “So it's great news when more trees get planted, improving quality of life not just for human New Yorkers but the many kinds of non-bipeds who use them!”

“I am excited that the Parks Department continues to make these investments in the Lower East Side's tree canopy and green spaces that we secured in the lead up to the East Side Coastal Resiliency project. These tree plantings, parks improvements, and other vital quality of life improvements across the district come from years of efforts led by our office and the community, and I appreciate that we're seeing them alongside construction of a project that will protect thousands of New Yorkers from the next Sandy and the harsh realities of climate change. I look forward to timely construction and the completion of additional community investments coming in the next few months,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera.

“Green spaces and new trees have become more valuable as the city has grappled with COVID. Now, as we work to enhance and protect our park space for decades to come, my constituents will have the added benefit of additional trees in the area as critical construction gets under way for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project,” said Council Member Keith Powers.

“Community Board 3 is very pleased to join NYC Parks in the halfway mark celebration of ESCR neighborhood tree planting,” said Trever Holland, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 3 Parks, Recreation, Waterfront and Resiliency Committee. “The planting of the 500th tree is one of many significant mitigations for the community as part of the ESCR project. There are few investments that have such a considerable return to us as street and park trees.”

“Manhattan Community Board Six welcomes this milestone, and we look forward to celebrating the planting of the next 500 trees in Community Districts 3 and 6. In these times when our city is battling a global pandemic and the act of simply being outside is as important as it has ever been, having more trees in our district certainly enhances our residents’ enjoyment of our parks and outdoor spaces,” said Kyle Athayde, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 6.

In addition to the tree plantings, Parks has completed a number of previously announced ESCR-related mitigation projects. For more information, visit

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