A million trees in NYC's forecast
BY EMI ENDO, Newsday Staff Writer
April 21, 2007
They cool down streets, remove tons of air pollution, boost property values and can even reduce asthma rates.
That' why trees -- a million of them -- will be a part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's sweeping plan to prepare the city for future population growth. The mayor Sunday is expected to call for reversing years of deforestation in the city.
"Every single place where it is possible to plant a street tree, by 2017, we will plant a street tree," said Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff, who has been overseeing the sustainability initiatives.
Currently, about 5.2 million trees dot the city, creating a tree canopy of about 24 percent of the city, said Joshua Laird, assistant commissioner for planning and natural resources for the parks department.
The city estimates that trees have been planted in about 74 percent of the places where trees could be planted.
In his upcoming executive budget, the mayor will call for spending an additional $37.5 million a year, on top of the current $11 million budgeted, for forestry programs, and an additional $8 million a year for maintenance and tree care.
City officials estimate that for each $1 spent on a tree, the value of the benefits from that tree are $5.
Under the plan, to begin in July, the city will reforest its parks and plant saplings in forests. On the streets, the city will plant 23,000 trees a year to add a total of 210,000 new trees, and require new construction projects to plant trees.
Via AM New York