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District 2

Carlina Rivera

Greenwich Village, Lower East Side, East Village, Midtown South-Flatiron-Union Square, Gramercy, Murray Hill-Kips Bay

New York City’s urban canopy is an integral part of the infrastructure that helps nearly 9 million residents lead happy and healthy lives. This survey observed a variety of indicators related to street trees to raise awareness about their overall wellbeing, role in the canopy and our communities, and the care needed to maintain them. Research has shown that significant urban canopy coverage positively impacts health, wellness, public safety, and leads to economic growth.

On Earth Day our office launched a street tree care demonstration and community planting in Tompkins Square Park to kick off the East Side Street Tree Survey, in partnership with The Hort and Love Your Street Tree Day. This effort creates a snapshot of the East Side’s street tree canopy and enables our office to work with City agencies and community groups to improve street tree and tree bed health. Over a three-month period, over 100 volunteers participated in this community initiative to survey over 5,600 street trees. With the results, our office has allocated budget funding to go directly to street tree care as well to the Parks Department for protective street tree guards.

This survey serves as a baseline to understanding the state of our local street tree canopy. It will help support Parks and its partner agencies to address care-related issues, and empower citizen stewards to bolster the work of City government as we continue fighting for more resources.

In late June we marked the planting of the 1,000th street tree as part of the East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) project. As part of project negotiations, Council Member Rivera helped secure a commitment from the City of New York to plant 1,000 new street trees throughout Community Boards 3 and 6 to enhance the ecological benefits of ESCR and improve quality of life in the affected neighborhoods. In addition, there will be better biodiversity, resilience infrastructure that includes more bioswales and a net gain of approximately 2,000 new trees in within East River Park and throughout District 2 by 2027.

Council Member Rivera is proud to champion sustainable and resilient infrastructure and policies that not only reduce the impacts of climate change, but safeguard against future disasters. With rising tide patterns and the threat of more intense storms, New York needs sustainable infrastructure that will decrease the potential for future flood risk. Developing an equitable ecosystem of street trees and a local urban canopy coverage of at least 30% is will do this. We must finally commit fully to reducing New York City’s susceptibility to disaster from intense storms, carbon footprint, and temperatures citywide.

Read the survey here:

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