Mother Nature will soon be getting some help from several tech-savvy Bronx volunteers for the upcoming Trees Count! 2015 census.
On Friday, April 24, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, announced the Arbor Day launch of the TreeCount! mobile app, which will be utilized to register and collect data during the nation’s third largest street tree census.
Trees Count! 2015 officially commences on a Tuesday, May 19’s event held at Julio Carballo Park in Hunts Point.
NYC Parks seeks 5,000 volunteers and is partnering with local civic and neighborhood groups to result in a successful census.
Approximately one-fifth of all trees inhabiting city land are street trees which provide enormous public benefits
If interested, volunteers can visit www.nyc.gov/
According to NYC Parks, training sessions’ times and dates are still undetermined, but those interested should register in order to stay informed.
“We want New Yorkers to feel a connection to their street trees right outside their windows, to our wild forests along the coast, and to all the open spaces in between,” Commissioner Silver expressed.
He added, “Our street trees beautify neighborhoods, make our communities more resilient in the face of climate change, and increase property values. The important work our volunteers will be doing during Trees Count! 2015 will help us support the next generation of both trees and stewards and will allow us to gain insight into what we can do to make our urban forest even stronger. Trees count, can we count on you?”
According to NYC Parks, Julio Carballo Park was selected for this event due to their partnership with Sustainable South Bronx and desired to join with them in starting Trees Count! 2015 by counting the first trees in the Bronx.
A NYC Parks spokesperson revealed over 2,000 trees have been planted in Hunts Point which is one of many neighborhoods parks pays particularly close attention to during the MillionTreesNYC Campaign, as it was a neighborhood in need of trees.
This census will aid parks in identifying urban forest trends and changes, be used to calculate environmental and economic benefits, create the most accurate and publicly accessible tree map in the world and inspire a new generation of stewards to protect and care for the trees in the Bronx and citywide.
This year’s upcoming tree census is the third in New York City’s history and will also mark the first time where innovative new technology and mapping tools will be used to count trees.
Since 2010, NYC Parks has collaborated with TreeKit, a non-profit organization to map more than 12,000 street trees throughout western Queens.
In 2013, both parks and TreeKit partnered with OpenPlans and CartoDB to prototype and test a mobile data entry tool simplifying this process.
The TreeKit mapping method and Azavea’s accompanying mobile app are the foundation of Trees Count! 2015.
“Our community has really evolved from being one of concrete and bricks to one which is becoming more energy efficient and environmentally conscious,” Dr. Ian Amritt, Community Board 2 chairman explained. “The Trees Count! 2015 event is a very engaging event which will not only help the environment, but it will also help bring our communities much closer together.”