New Yorkers care for their neighborhood trees outside on the Upper West Side. Photo © JF

This past Saturday, October 15, NYC Parks, in partnership with Forest for All NYC, and Parks and Open Space Partners NYC, launched the first-ever ‘City of Forest Day.’ This special day of action helped educate New Yorkers about the benefits of the urban tree canopy and encouraged participation in the ongoing stewardship of trees across the city. It featured activities for New Yorkers to learn about, care for, and celebrate the NYC urban forest and the role it serves as the “lungs” of the city, and encouraged participation in the ongoing stewardship of trees across the city. 

More than 50 events took place across all five boroughs, including:  

  • A guided walking tour in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park  
  • A tutorial for applying locally produced compost to trees on the Lower East Side 
  • A trail cleanup and invasive species removal in Riverdale Park in the Bronx 
  • Restoration work in Staten Island’s North Mount Loretto State Forest  

“We were thrilled to join Forest for All NYC, and all of the partners in this great coalition, as we kicked off the first ever City of Forest Day, with the goal of bringing increased awareness about our City’s urban forest to New Yorkers,” said Commissioner Donoghue. “Our trees are a vital resource, offering a wide range of benefits to New Yorkers, and we will continue to champion their protection and expansion in every corner of the city, now and into the future.” 

“Forest for All NYC is thrilled that together with our partners, we offered over 50 free events that took place in every borough,” said Emily Nobel Maxwell, Cities Director for The Nature Conservancy in New York. “The enthusiasm and excitement for our inaugural City of Forest Day demonstrates the love New Yorkers have for their urban forest, and highlights the tremendous opportunity for tree stewardship and care across the city. Stewardship and public engagement are crucial elements of equitably growing the NYC urban forest – key goals of the NYC Urban Forest Agenda. As New Yorkers face the realities of climate change, caring for our urban forest so that it helps mitigate flooding and extreme heat is critical to the health, quality of life, and future of all New Yorkers.” 

Forest for All NYC is a diverse coalition of more than 60 organizations across business, nonprofit, conservation, and environmental justice sectors committed to protecting, maintaining, and growing the New York City urban forest through the implementation of the NYC Urban Forest Agenda. The Nature Conservancy is the convener and a leading member of Forest for All NYC. City of Forest Day honors the coalition’s commitment in its agenda to establish a Citywide Educational and Tree Stewardship Event. 

NYC Parks cares for nearly 700,000 street trees and 2 million more in parks across the city. Parks recently celebrated a milestone tree planting season with more than 13,000 trees planted citywide in fiscal year 2022, more than planted the past five fiscal years. Parks is also furthering its commitment to increasing equitable planting and targeting plantings in areas that need trees most with a $112 million allocation from the Adams administration. For more information, please see NYC Parks’ recent release on tree planting efforts