As New York City moves forward with plans to plant hundreds of thousands of new street trees throughout the five boroughs, residents of Prospect Heights are stepping up to the plate to care for our “urban forest.” The Prospect Heights Community Forest Initiative is working with our block associations, community gardens, and merchant groups, to provide residents and merchants with the knowledge, skills, material resources and organizational assistance necessary to become trusted stewards of their urban environment.
The benefit of maintaining a healthy urban forest right outside our front door is enormous. Breathing becomes a whole lot easier when trees filter the pollutants produced by our neighborhood’s busy network of multi-lane roadways. Street trees also shade homes and businesses and keep the neighborhood cooler during the summer thereby reducing energy bills and transforming sidewalks into pleasant outdoor spaces. Trees soak up storm water and reduce the run-off that overwhelm sewerage treatment plants and pollute New York City’s waterways after a heavy rain. Our air will become cleaner as our younger trees reach maturity. The older, larger trees will continue to provide more shade and soak up more water, compounding the benefits that come from maintaining a healthy urban forest. The trick is to keep our young trees alive long enough to take root. The key to success is to get everyone in Prospect Heights involved.
The Prospect Heights Community Forest Initiative is committed to working with merchants and residents, block-by-block, to maintain a healthy urban forest. Partnering with Prospect Heights Community Farm, Trees New York, and GreenBridge (the community environmental horticulture of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden), the Prospect Heights Community Forest Initiative is willing and able to work with every block in the neighborhood to care for a piece of our local urban forest.
To schedule an organizing workshop with the Prospect Heights Community Forest Initiative please contact us at: PHCForest@gmail.com. Workshops will cover a wide range of topics, including:
- Tips on basic street tree care, including irrigation, soil maintenance, mulching, and decorative planting;
- Strategies for organizing block residents to adopt the trees right in front of their homes;
- Advice on connecting to city-wide resources for street tree care, including workshops, certification programs, and more; and
- Publicizing stewardship activities and securing grants for advanced projects.