TreesNY is back in Greenpoint for another season of tree stewardship, and we need your help! Brooklyn keeps getting greener, but with great plantings comes great responsibility. Luckily, this isn't our first rodeo. TreesNY has been stewarding trees before it was cool, like back in 1976 when very few people knew what was up. We are partnering with community groups and schools to recruit, educate and train volunteers to care for their neighborhood trees. In order to reach as many community members as possible, TreesNY will provide educational literature in English and Polish, because we can.
TreesNY’s environmental educators will lead all stewardship workshops.
Samuel Bishop, Director of Urban Forestry and Education(top left photo, kneeling down, identity concealed), is an ISA Certified Arborist and has over six years of experience teaching urban forestry projects. Sam will lead the adult stewardship workshops and tree care activities.
Cheryl Blaylock, Director of Youth Education(center photo, shades, visually inspecting what appear to be hawthorn berries), has taught TreesNY’s youth education programs for three years. Cheryl will work with schools and afterschool groups in Greenpoint to educate and engage neighborhood youth to appreciate and care for their neighborhood trees.
At the start of each workshop, our environmental educators teach a lesson on the importance of a healthy urban forest and the importance of volunteer efforts. we solicit input from volunteers to help identify stewardship priorities and develop long and short-term goals. Following the lesson, volunteers steward street trees in Greenpoint. Our environmental educators always work alongside volunteers to guide stewardship efforts and answer questions.
We will provide ongoing support, guidance and information that will continually optimize volunteers’ stewardship efforts and create sustainable long-term volunteers. Our goal is to train a minimum of 100 volunteers (50 adults and 50 youth) and steward a minimum of 200 trees during the workshops.
Stewardship activities include:
Tree bed clean up and soil cultivation – Compacted soil and litter is not only unsightly, it blocks the movement of oxygen and water to tree roots. Volunteers will remove litter from tree beds and loosen up the surface soil.
Watering Trees – The most important factor in the survival of NYC’s street trees is water. All trees, especially newly planted trees, need thorough and deep watering during the spring and summer. Volunteers will water trees using Treegators and drip buckets.
Mulching - Mulch conserves water, moderates soil temperature, improves soil structure and mitigates damage from dogs, people, de-icing salts and cleaning agents. Volunteers will mulch trees with organic mulch.
Tree Bed Gardening – Flowers beautify the streetscape, add enriching organic matter to soil and help deter people from walking on soil. In the spring, volunteers will plant annual flowers such as impatiens, coleus and begonias. In the fall, volunteers will plant bulbs such as muscari, crocus and daffodil. Due to the extreme hot and dry conditions of summer, TreesNY excludes tree bed gardening from workshops in the summer months.
Pruning - Pruning helps produce strong, healthy and attractive trees. Pruning dead and damaged limbs improves the overall health of a tree and lessens the possibility of branches falling and causing injuries and property damage. Pruning enhances the natural form of trees.
ALB inspection - The Asian Longhorned Beetle is an invasive insect that seriously threatens the health of trees. Volunteers will inspect trees for ALB damage and report potential threats to the USDA
Curb Your Dog - Many dog owners and walkers are unaware of the harmful impact that dog waste has on street trees. Dog urine burns tree roots and weakens the bark. Volunteers will install 50 “Curb Your Dog” signs to help raise awareness in Greenpoint.
Citizen Pruner Course!
TreesNY’s signature Citizen Pruner Tree Care Course trains New Yorkers in tree care, biology, identification and pruning. The course consists of eight hours of classroom training and four hours of hands-on experience in the field. Graduates are certified by TreesNY & the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation to legally prune New York City street trees. In New York City, where there is limited funding for tree maintenance but significant need, Citizen Pruners provide a tremendous benefit to our urban environment.
The course fee is $100 and includes a comprehensive manual and tree care handbooks.
Currently, there are 20 Citizen Pruners based in Greenpoint. We want to double that number this year! TreesNY is offering twenty (20) $85.00 scholarships to people who live or work in Greenpoint for the Citizen Pruner Tree Care Course to increase the number of experienced, licensed pruners in the neighborhood. TreesNY’s goal is to train a minimum of 20 new Greenpoint Citizen Pruners during the project year. Citizen Pruners not only provide essential tree care services, they also play an important leadership role in their communities.
In addition to the ten workshops, TreesNY will offer 20 Citizen Pruner Tree Care Course scholarships to people who live or work in Greenpoint. To apply, please download the application form here (pdf) and then fax it to us at (212)732-5325 or mail it to us:
Trees New York
51 Chambers Street, Suite 1412A
New York, NY 10007
In order to encourage their ongoing stewardship efforts, program graduates will receive the Citizen Pruner Tool Kit which includes a hand pruner, folding saw, hand cultivator and gloves.
This program has been funded by the NYCEF Newtown Creek Fund of the Hudson River Foundation!