Through a public-private campaign, a million trees have been planted throughout New York City. That’s a lot of trees.

Million Trees NYC signage

The benefits trees provide are many. They filter pollution, keep soil in place, provide shade, contribute to biodiversity, create a sense of place and add to property values.

Bram Gunther is the director of the Urban Field Station for the New York City Parks Department.

Gunther: “Pollution, heat, soil erosion, coastal storms are all on the increase because of climate change. So having robust forests and robust street trees addresses all those things, which are going to be magnified by climate change.”

Trees also clean nitrogen dioxide pollution from the air, making it easier to breathe. So in several low-income neighborhoods with high asthma rates, entire blocks were planted with trees. Gunther says communities have rallied around New York City’s Million Trees Project.

Gunther: “The more community hands are involved in the long-term stewardship of that tree, the more likely it will not only survive, the more likely it will thrive.”

”Major Click To Tweet

Boston, Denver, and Los Angeles are among other cities now designing and implementing their own tree planting campaigns.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media/Colleen Pellissier.
Photo source: MillionTreesNYC on facebook.

More Resources
MillionTreesNYC website
Bronx Planting Caps Off a Drive to Add a Million Trees
Bill de Blasio and Michael Bloomberg come together to plant millionth tree of Million Trees NYC program: sources

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Diana Madson

Diana Madson contributed regularly to Yale Climate Connections from 2014 to 2021. She enjoys exploring U.S.-based stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition to her...