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Local nonprofit to host free tree giveaway event starting Apr. 13

Apr. 3, 2024 By Athena Dawson

Starting Saturday, Apr. 13, the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is launching a free tree giveaway as part of their Earth Month Initiative. Nature enthusiasts are invited to register for a chance to bring home their very own tree, at no cost.

In collaboration with local elected officials and community organizations, NYRP aims to distribute 3,500 trees across all five boroughs, from Apr. 13 through May 12.

The Million Tree Initiative, which first launched in 2008, was a partnership between NYRP, the NYC Parks Department and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, that aimed to create a more sustainable city by 2023.  

NYRP focused on providing free trees to home and land owners and planted trees in parks, schools and public spaces. Although the millionth tree was planted in the Bronx in 2015, NYRP has continued the legacy of the program. 

The organization is distributing over 30 different species of trees, some of which bear fruit. These trees include the American Persimmon, American Plum, Beach Plum, Black Cherry and Elderberry. 

NYRP added that as the climate crisis intensifies, trees play an essential role in the city’s environmental makeup. Trees mitigate the effects of climate change by providing shade, creating habitats for wildlife and improving air quality throughout the city.


Residents can now register to get a free tree from NYRP. Photo Via NYRP

Lynn Bodnar Kelly, NYRP’s executive director, feels the program plays an important role in improving the city’s environment. “This beloved program continues to spread the undeniable benefits of our urban tree canopy to the neighborhoods that need them most. Our city must get more trees in the ground if we want to truly increase New York’s environmental resilience,” she said. 

NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue added that the event moves the city closer to its goal of achieving 30% canopy coverage. 

Other local leaders said that additional trees can have life saving benefits for residents across the city. “Hundreds of New Yorkers die every year from heat-related causes, primarily in neighborhoods that lack an expansive tree canopy,” said Queens Council Member Shekar Krishnan (D-25) who is Chair of the Council’s Committee on Parks and Recreation. “Trees don’t just beautify our communities and improve our mental health, they also save lives.”

Founded by Bette Midler in 1995, NYRP is a non-profit organization with a mission to create high-quality public green spaces for all New Yorkers. NYRP works with residents and organizations across the five boroughs to plant trees, renovate gardens and restore parks, with the goal to transform the city’s environmental landscape.

Queens residents can head to locations listed below to pick up free trees. 

Jackson Heights

Location: Travers Park (76-9 34th Ave.)

Date and Time: Apr. 13 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.


Location: 108-56 Union Hall St.

Date and Time: Apr. 21 from 2-4 p.m.


Location: 42-80 Crommelin St.

Date and Time: Apr. 27 from 2-4 p.m.

Far Rockaway

Location: 58-03 Rockaway Beach Blvd.

Date and Time: Apr. 27 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

For those who are unable to register in advance, organizers assure that a selection of trees will still be available an hour after opening, during each giveaway event. Trees will be distributed to walk-up participants on a first-come, first-served basis until all have been claimed, ensuring everyone has an opportunity to partake.

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