After having an extremely damp and rainy second week of August, 2012, waking up to the sunshine on Saturday, August 11th was quite motivating. The Human Impacts Institute (HII) crew gathered at Southside Community Park in the morning, eager and excited to get their hands dirty with some tree stewardship and coloring with the local children for council member Diana Reyna‘s Adopt A Tree/Plant Giveaway event. It was a sweltering day but everyone joined together with ear to ear smiles, thrilled to get some productive work done.
Council member Diana Reyna’s devoted team, who hosted the event at their Southside garden, along with the HII crew, encouraged local Brooklyn residents to register to vote by giving out plants to each participant. As women and men all over the neighborhood heard the word, our corner became quite the little social spot–over 90 people in total stopped by! People looked through the garden and admired the mural and beautiful vegetation. This perfect little oasis in Williamsburg seems to foster ideal community interaction.
The HII crew took to the block, determined to manicure and care for the trees, starting with two young oaks in front of a day care on South 4th Street. After about two hours of aerating soil, picking up trash, weeding, and planting Impatients, the HII crew stood back to admire their labor of love. The locals walking by couldn’t stop boasting about how good the trees looked with little colored flowers planted under them! Finally, HII staff and interns worked together in lugging water buckets to water the plants into their newly beautified homes.
HII has been taking their tree stewardship very seriously here in Brooklyn. Caring for over 235 trees in North Brooklyn in the past year alone, they have also been highly successful in encouraging 25 local business owners to adopt the trees outside their storefronts as part of their pilot Ecopreneurs program. Bringing together over 100 volunteers within Brooklyn, HII’s dedicated team is growing by the day, and their hugely important impact on the city is growing daily as well.
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By Jila Keshavarz, Human Impacts Institute’s Summer 2012 PR & Marketing Intern