You are reading

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.

Jamaica

Location: 108-56 Union Hall St.

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

Flushing

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.

Recent News

College Point building inspector criminally charged with taking bribes to close complaints: DA

A College Point man who works as an inspector at the city’s Department of Buildings is accused of accepting bribes in exchange for overlooking potential violations at various Queens locations on multiple occasions since January 2023.

Zabihullah Ibrahimi, 42, of 22nd Avenue, was arraigned Thursday in Queens Criminal Court on bribery and official misconduct charges for taking cash from homeowners and then closing complaints about their property. In one case, he allegedly asked for $3,500 from a property owner and, when she said she had no cash, he directed her to go to a bank and get it while he waited at her home, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Op-ed: An urgent call for revising NY’s criminal justice reforms to protect public safety

Apr. 11, 2024 By Council Member Robert Holden

In 2019, the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo embarked on a controversial overhaul of New York’s criminal justice system by enacting several laws, including cashless bail and sweeping changes to discovery laws. Simultaneously, the New York City Council passed laws that compounded these challenges, notably the elimination of punitive segregation in city jails and qualified immunity for police officers. These actions have collectively undermined public safety and constrained law enforcement effectiveness.