Parks Foresters and youth from Phipps West Farm Teen Program gathered on Wednesday, December 16 in Morrisania to plant trees along the public streets.
The tree planting is part of Partnership for Parks’ Greening Morrisania project. Partnership for Parks, a joint program of City Parks Foundation, the Department of Parks & Recreation and New York City Tree Trust have come together to start the initiative to plant and maintain 475 trees throughout this community. Over 45 have been planted, and according to Sanchez another 200 will be planted in the spring and about 200 in the fall.
“We are focusing on getting the youth of this community involved, we hope to raise interest for people to become apart of their community,” said Joseph Sanchez, of Partnership for Parks. “We have been partnering up with a lot of the community based organizations and youth groups throughout the area.”
Greening Morrisania is part of the citywide ‘Million Trees NYC’ initiative, funded through Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC, to plant and care for one million trees throughout the five boroughs by 2017.
“Our students wanted to help out the community by making it look greener and better so they decided this would be a great project,” said Ebony Jones of Phipps Community Development Corp.
Trees in the Morrisania area are of great importance due to the astonishingly high asthma rates found by the residents of the region. It is hoped that the increase in trees may provide some relief to these health burdens.
Along with planting, volunteer groups, such as the Phipps youths, will be maintaining and caring for the growth of each tree planted. They also hope to put up barriers or small fencing around the trees to prevent any damage or garbage near the tree.
“It was really fun and we actually did something for the community,” said Argelia Moya, 17, participant in the Phipps West Farm Teen Program. “The green initiative is always important because there are a lot of problems with the weather and global warming and it all starts with a small community and expands from there.”