FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG PROCLAIMS APRIL 2009 MILLIONTREESNYC MONTH
Announces Launch of "One in a Million" Tree Coupon Program Encouraging New Yorkers To Plant Trees in their Front and Backyards While Supporting Local NYC Nurseries
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today proclaimed April 2009 as MillionTreesNYC Month in New York City. Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe presented a proclamation by the Mayor at Keil Brothers Garden Center and Nursery in Bayside Hills, Queens. MillionTreesNYC Month, presented by BNP Paribas, seeks to engage New Yorkers in MillionTreesNYC, a public-private partnership between the City of New York and New York Restoration Project (NYRP) that aims to plant one million new trees throughout the five boroughs by 2017. At the event, Commissioner Benepe was joined by NYRP Executive Director Drew Becher, Queens residents, and students from M.S. 158 and P.S. 31 to announce that 173,229 trees have been planted since MillionTreesNYC was launched in October 2007, far exceeding the initiative's yearly target planting goal. They also invited New Yorkers to get involved and unveiled the One in a Million Tree Coupon Program.
"Spring is a time for growth and renewal, and MillionTreesNYC Month in April 2009 encourages all New Yorkers to get involved in greening our city," said Mayor Bloomberg. "By planting trees in parks, on streets, and in your own front and backyards, you can help create cleaner air and cooler streets, which will improve the health of all New Yorkers. With over 173,000 trees already in the ground, we have far exceeded our yearly target planting goal, and this spring, New Yorkers will help us continue to plant thousands more trees."
Through a mix of public and private plantings, MillionTreesNYC community partners and citizen volunteers are planting in places such as schoolyards, public housing sites, health care facilities, business districts, commercial and residential developments, front yards and other private lands. During MillionTreesNYC Month, all New Yorkers are encouraged to plant trees in their front and backyards. The One in a Million Tree Coupon, generously supported by BNP Paribas, offers $20 off the purchase of a 1-inch caliper or larger tree at 13 select New York City garden centers and nurseries throughout the five boroughs (see below for participating nurseries). Coupons are available online at www.nyc.gov, the MillionTreesNYC official website, or at participating nurseries. All New Yorkers will share in the many benefits that come from planting trees in their yards - more beautiful neighborhoods; cleaner air and water; higher property values; energy savings; cooler summer streets; and a healthier, more environmentally sustainable City.
"Mayor Bloomberg's proclamation of April 2009 as MillionTreesNYC Month is part of the City's long-term commitment to enlarge our urban forest by 20 percent and bring about health, environmental, and economic benefits for all New Yorkers to enjoy," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "MillionTreesNYC Month, presented by BNP Paribas, celebrates the arrival of spring and the growing season, and encourages New Yorkers to dig in and help the city plant one million trees."
Throughout the month, Parks, NYRP, and MillionTreesNYC partners will host free citywide events for the public, including Earth Day and Arbor Day celebrations, tree education seminars, tree stewardship workshops, tree pruning instructional courses, and Urban Park Ranger tree identification hikes throughout the city. In addition, the sponsor of MillionTreesNYC Month, BNP Paribas, will display the MillionTreesNYC Greenhouse - designed to encourage involvement in local sustainability initiatives and raise funds to support MillionTreesNYC - at Duffy Square in Times Square on April 16, at the Bronx Zoo Earth Fair from April 17 - 19 and in Central Park for an Earth Day Celebration on April 26. Finally, MillionTreesNYC Month partners will launch a new citizen-based Stewardship Corps that provides intensive workshops in urban tree care to empower New York City residents to take care of their neighborhood trees. Stewardship Corps will offer free tree care and maintenance workshops and community organizing training, distribute tree stewardship toolkits, and introduce an online forum for tree stewards to network and share information.
"MillionTreesNYC Month gives us an incredible opportunity to show New Yorkers across all five boroughs what we've accomplished together, and more importantly, how families and community groups can help us plant and water new trees in an effort to reach our million-tree goal," said Drew Becher, Executive Director of New York Restoration Project. "For those New Yorkers without a place to plant, we invite you to sponsor a tree in an under-resourced neighborhood. During MillionTreesNYC Month, our presenting sponsor BNP Paribas is matching donations made to the initiative through the MillionTreesNYC website - giving your support of the program twice the value."
Large-scale volunteer tree-planting events during MillionTreesNYC Month include the planting of 300 trees on Saturday, April 18 through Jet Blue and NYRP's One Thing That's Green Day and the Arbor Day Youth Tree-mendous Challenge on Friday, April 24th that will bring together more than 250 youth from NYRP's RespecTree education program and hundreds of BNP Paribas employees for a day of tree planting on New York City Housing Authority developments in Williamsburg. RespecTree is a pilot program launched during the 2008-2009 academic year that integrates tree education modules into the New York City Department of Education's 5th grade curriculum. Current RespecTREE students will graduate high school in 2017, the year that MillionTreesNYC is projected to reach its million-tree goal. MillionTreesNYC Month will culminate in a volunteer effort in which New Yorkers will plant 20,000 trees in parks citywide on Saturday, April 25 through New York Cares' Hands on New York Day.
"We are delighted to be the sponsor of MillionTreesNYC Month for the second consecutive year," said Everett Schenk, CEO of BNP Paribas, North America. "New York has been our North American headquarters for over 30 years and this is an opportunity for us to give back to the City. BNP Paribas and its employees are grateful for the opportunity to make New York greener."
BNP Paribas (www.bnpparibas.com) is a European leader in global banking and financial services and is one of the 6 strongest banks in the world according to Standard & Poor's. BNP Paribas regards adoption and promotion of good environmental practices as a core responsibility. Their Sustainable Development department was created in 2003 to develop and coordinate the Bank's activities related to social and environmental responsibilities and BNP Paribas has been included in the DOW Jones Index for socially responsible investment - Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) - for the past 6 years. BNP Paribas has been present in New York City for over 30 years through its Corporate and Investment Banking division and has over 2,500 employees in the area. The Bank is committed to giving back to the City of New York and has been involved in various philanthropic initiatives in New York including MillionTreesNYC, AMS Math Tournament, sponsoring of the opening exhibits at the Museum of Art and Design (MAD) and the New Museum, ongoing support of the MoMA and various other NYC charities including the Food Bank for New York. For more information about BNP Paribas' global philanthropic initiatives, please visit: www.forachangingworld.com.
The historic MillionTreesNYC initiative will transform New York City's landscape, expanding the city's urban forest by 20 percent. There are many ways to get involved in MillionTreesNYC:
To learn more about MillionTreesNYC, visit www.nyc.gov or call 311.
In A Million Tree Coupon Program
Participating NYC Nurseries and Garden Centers:
KINGS COUNTY NURSERIES
CHELSEA GARDEN CENTER NYC
DIMITRI’S GARDEN CENTER
YORK FLOWERS AND PLANT
GREENSIDE UP NURSERY
Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
Jama Adams/Jesslyn Tiao Moser (Parks)
Emily Lawi (NYRP) (212) 253-0474