New York, New York – Council Member Krishnan and 27 colleagues sent a letter to Mayor Eric Adams urging New York City to lead by example in setting a citywide goal of achieving at least 30% tree canopy cover by 2035 in an equitable manner. Achieving the goal would increase community resiliency and quality of life through protection, maintenance, and expansion of the New York City urban forest. The urban forest serves as critical natural infrastructure and provides myriad social, environmental, and economic and public health benefits, including cooling, shading, energy efficiency, cleaner air, stormwater absorption and filtration, increased property values, enhanced mental and physical health, and improved business activity. As New York City faces the challenges of increasing climate change impacts, trees help mitigate heat waves, more extreme rain events, and flooding that New Yorkers are experiencing with more regularity. Forest for All NYC, a coalition of over 80 local organizations across business, nonprofit, government, and academic sectors advance the NYC Urban Forest Agenda. Through their leadership, they have educated and built support for policies and goals to strengthen the urban forest and increase its benefits to all New Yorkers. Through organizing a successful inaugural City of Forest Day and encouraging a growing number of community boards to pass resolutions in support of the urban forest, momentum continues to grow for this important and ambitious goal. “The time is now for New York City to lead on this vital issue. Trees cool our streets, scrub our air, and soak up storm waters. They also support New Yorkers’ mental health in immeasurable ways,” said Parks Committee Chair Krishnan. “By setting this ambitious target, we will ensure our city is planning, tracking and meeting goals needed to protect the health and well-being of all New Yorkers.” “Street trees enhance quality of life and create a vibrant streetscape that is more welcoming and comfortable. Studies have shown that the presence of an urban canopy reduces heat and improves air quality, health and wellness, public safety, and more,” said Council Member Gale Brewer. “New York City must set a citywide goal of achieving at least 30% tree canopy cover by 2035. I have long been committed to supporting a healthy network of street trees with a focus on equity and applaud this effort.” “Our coalition thanks this majority of New York City’s Council Members who voiced their support for setting a goal of achieving at least 30% tree canopy cover by 2035,” said Emily Nobel Maxwell, Cities Director for The Nature Conservancy in New York, convener of Forest for All NYC. “Under the leadership of Parks Committee Chair Shekar Krishnan, we’re more energized and optimistic than ever that the hard work that went into the NYC Urban Forest Agenda, with its ambitious recommendations for action, will be realized and will benefit all New Yorkers in a just and equitable way. We look forward to working with the council and administration to get this historic commitment and investment done.”