project leader
Basia N
137th Street
Manhattan (Hamilton Heights)
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Thanks For Helping Us Guard Trees!

the project


Raw sewage overflow into the Hudson River during big rainfalls; High asthma and obesity rates in our dense, low-income neighborhood; hot sidewalks contributing to the Urban Heat Island Effect; Childhood obesity; Unsafe block riddled with drug activity.


Our block gardening project - set on a dense, urban block - raises awareness and confidence especially among Spanish-speaking neighbors, about nature stewardship, as pertains to street tree care & adoption, Urban Heat Island Effect, storm water overflow, gardening, and water waste. Our neighborhood suffers high asthma rates due to a disproportionate number of bus depots in our area, and trees are a natural way to filter the air of impurities. This community education effort is especially important considering that our street is located a block away from a waste water treatment plant.


Gardening is also a terrific way to bring a diverse community together around a healthy outdoor physical activity that overcomes language and age barriers. Gardening also makes the area safer as neighbors work together and get to know one another and because it brings other people outdoors on a regular basis besides those involved in illicit activities.

the steps


Purchase flowers from the city's wholesale community garden plant sale on May 14.

Transport the flowers from the Bronx to Manhattan.

Create and print flyers.

Promote the event with distribution of informational flyers, emails and Facebook updates, in the period leading up to the Block Planting Day.

Research and create educational coloring pages and signs for kids.

Solicit local businesses for work materials (ie. paint, paintbrushes, wood, soil).

Solicit local and non-local businesses for in-kind donations as raffle prizes for volunteers at the end of the event


During the Block Planting Day (June 4, 2011) we will garden around the street trees, reinforce and paint the wooden treeguards, make educational signs to later laminate and hang like a Kid's Art gallery along the block.

why we're doing it


Our project creates 23 active gardens that serve as permeable water drainage areas, instead of pure concrete sidewalks. These garden surfaces slow down the seepage of storm water into the sewage system, reducing the chances of raw sewage overflowing into our nearby Hudson river.

By planting our 11 new trees and protecting them with treeguards, we are keeping them healthy, so the trees can grow strong and tall, encouraging broad canopies to lower sidewalk temperatures and offer shade to passerbyers. The metal treeguards serve especially well to protect these gardens and trees from cars, trucks, dogs and pedestrians. Our hands-on gardening activities and educational sheets, raise awareness and a sense of stewardship for the trees, flowers and the soil, engaging people in a simple and dignified civic action. We encourage neighbors to learn the names (in Eng & Spanish) of the street trees on our block, to participate in street tree care workshops (in Eng & Spanish), and we facilitate adoption the street trees.


3 x est.$900.metal "Circles" metal treeguards = $2,700. Assumes inflation from $850 last year; this is an estimate as the cost depends on the footage of metalwork needed. Metal treeguards would be ordered through NYC Parks & Recreation Department Tree Trust (Jamie Daugherty 718 760-6911), to match the four that were installed Fall '10. original project total = 2700 New project total = 1829 ioby fee = 146


Thanks For Helping Us Guard Trees!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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