On Friday, December 2nd, Human Impacts Institute (HII) hosted a street tree stewardship day at Rodney Park. Community members were invited to come out to the Park and prepare the trees for wintertime by raking, aerating, and mulching in the tree beds. Volunteers also worked to enlarge the beds where needed by removing the cobblestones from around the tree.
This was HII’s second open-to-the-public tree care event of the fall. After nearly three hours of hard work, participants successfully cared for 40 trees in and around Rodney Park. This brings HII up to over 140 trees stewarded in 2011 with the help of community and youth volunteers! For December’s event, some community members living around the area came by the thank volunteers for their efforts, including one local public school coordinator who expressed interest in partnering with HII for more events.
Roughly 10 community volunteers participated in the event. Volunteers included Diana Reyna’s Chief of Staff and Williamsburg Liaison, the Activities Specialist at YABC, an El Puente gardener, and HII staff and interns. Many volunteers learned aerating and mulching techniques from HII staff–trying out their gardening skills for the first time–while some volunteers had gardening experience from participating in past local programs.
This event was part of the Growing Our Rootsprogram of the Human Impacts Institute. It involves communities in issues of environmental health, climate change, sustainable water management, and creative gardening practices through local tree stewardship. As an official Green Points Challenge Education Partner of the Million Trees Program of New York City, Growing Our Roots is also working to engage local classrooms in caring for their trees and their communities.
The Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn lent tools and materials for the event including wheelbarrows, shovels, and rakes. They also coordinated with the Department of Parks and Recreation to deliver a mulch pile, which volunteers where proud to use up on local trees!
A special thank you to the Open Space Alliance for supporting this program.
By Melissa Mitchell, Human Impacts Institute Environmental Educator