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Alley Pond Park

More Than 5,000 New York Volunteers Say “It’s My Park!” At Citywide Volunteer Day

Saturday, October 24, 2009
No. 112

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and the City’s Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford today kicked off a citywide volunteer effort – through MillionTreesNYC Fall Planting Day and It’s My Park Day – by joining over 200 volunteers to plant 3,000 trees near Orchard Beach in Pelham Bay Park. Throughout the day, more than 1,000 New Yorkers volunteered across the city to plant a total of 20,000 trees in parks and natural forests while another 4,000 mulched, planted, and cleaned city’s greenspaces in all five boroughs.

“Across the five boroughs, thousands of New Yorkers rolled up their sleeves and dug into 100 projects in local parks for MillionTreesNYC Planting Day and It’s My Park Day, an event co-sponsored with City Parks Foundation, with leadership from the Mayor’s Office and New York Restoration Project on the MillionTreesNYC plantings,” said Commissioner Benepe. “Saturday’s events give busy New Yorkers a great reason to get together to make a difference and improve our great parks. We are deeply grateful to our volunteers for their time, enthusiasm and energy today and throughout the year.”

The MillionTreesNYC Fall Planting Day is the city’s largest volunteer effort of the fall planting season. MillionTreesNYC, one of the Mayor’s 127 PlaNYC initiatives, is a citywide, public-private program with an ambitious goal: to plant and care for one million new trees across the City's five boroughs over the next decade. By planting one million trees, New York City can increase its urban forest—our most valuable environmental asset made up of street trees, park trees, and trees on public, private and commercial land—by an astounding 20 percent—while achieving the many quality-of-life benefits that come with planting trees. On Monday, October 5, Mayor Bloomberg along with Bette Midler, celebrated the two-year anniversary of MillionTreesNYC by planting the 250,000th tree in St. Albans, Queens.

This year’s MillionTreesNYC Fall Planting Day was sponsored by Home Depot, Toyota, Con Edison, and supported by Jamba Juice. In-kind donations were also generously provided by Rob Cano Events and Green Apple Cleaners.

The MillionTreesNYC Fall Planting Day coincides with the semiannual It’s My Park Day sponsored by Partnerships for Parks, a joint program of the City Parks Foundation and the Parks Department. Partnerships for Parks supported more than 4,000 volunteers who planted bulbs, painted fences, cleaned up and celebrated their communities at 100 projects and events around the city. Nearly 140 dedicated community groups contributed project ideas for It’s My Park Day to help beautify 100 neighborhood parks in all five boroughs, creating greener, safer and more enjoyable public spaces.

The MillionTreesNYC Fall Planting Day and It’s My Park Day present a range of opportunities throughout the five boroughs available through NYC Service. NYC Service was launched by Mayor Bloomberg in April and has three core goals: channel the power of volunteers to address the impacts of the current economic downturn, make New York City the easiest city in America in which to serve, and ensure every young person in New York City is taught about civic engagement and has an opportunity to serve. New Yorkers can find opportunities to serve their communities by visiting or by calling 311.

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