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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PR- 077-13
February 25, 2013

MAYOR BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION REQUIRING THE PARKS DEPARTMENT TO CREATE A MANUAL TO IDENTIFY PLANTS FOR STORM WATER RETENTION AND INCREASE BIODIVERSITY IN ITS LANDSCAPE PRACTICES

Remarks by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

“The final two bills before me today are Introductory Numbers 75-A and 399-A, which together ensures that plantings done by the Department of Parks and Recreation reflect our efforts to regulate storm water and increase native biodiversity whenever possible.

“Introductory Number 75-A is sponsored by Council Members Gennaro, Brewer, Chin, Fidler, James, Koppell, Lander, Mark-Viverito, Nelson, Williams, Van Bramer, Levin, Garodnick, Crowley, Vallone, Gonzalez, Weprin, Vann, Lappin, Koslowitz, Rodriguez, Rivera, Greenfield, Vacca, Jackson, Dromm, Arroyo, Barron, Eugene, Koo, Palma, Ulrich and Halloran.

“As part of PlaNYC’s Sustainable Stormwater Management Plan, the City recommends and often uses green infrastructure to control and detain storm water.  This is an important step in helping to reduce the billions of gallons of polluted rainwater which enter New York harbors every year.  This legislation requires the Parks Department to create a stormwater retention manual that will identify plants suitable for stormwater retention and be made available to the public.  Plantings conducted by the Department beginning next spring will follow the guidelines outlined in the manual. 

“Introductory Number 399-A is sponsored by Council Members Vann, Comrie, Fidler, James, Palma, Williams, Van Bramer, Rodriguez, Levin, Nelson, Mark-Viverito, Dromm, Chin, Koppell, Gennaro, Arroyo, Barron, Crowley, Eugene, Greenfield, Jackson, Koo and Lappin.

“Invasive plant species cost the City millions of dollars a year to eradicate and out-compete native plant species which are important to the City’s native biodiversity.  The Parks Department has made efforts to ensure that plantings done within the City increase native biodiversity whenever possible.

“This legislation will require that the Parks Department update its design manuals to increase biodiversity in its landscape practices. Beginning next spring, all plantings conducted by the Department will conform to this manual.  In addition, the Parks Department will create a native species planting guide that will be available to property owners and professional land managers.  The planting guide will advise the public on suitable native plants, their characteristics, and compatibility with other plants.

“I would like to thank Parks Commissioner Veronica White, Parks Chief of Forestry and Natural Resources Bram Gunther, and their staff for working on this bill along with Reggie Thomas from my Office of City Legislative Affairs.  I would also like to thank the City Council for approving this legislation.”







MEDIA CONTACT:


Marc LaVorgna/Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958



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