c. Martin Seck

Giving Thanks For Our Trees

November 20, 2020

This Thanksgiving season, Prospect Park Alliance gives thanks for Prospect Park’s 30,000 trees, and the community members who funded a record season of commemorative tree plantings: nearly 75 trees, representing nearly 20 native species and raising $150,000 for sustaining Prospect Park.

“Brooklyn’s Backyard was hit hard this year by Tropical Storm Isaias, which felled over 60 trees and left 54 more with severe damage,” said Sue Donoghue, President, Prospect Park Alliance. “Our commemorative tree program is an important way that the community gives back to our park, and many of these trees were planted in areas impacted by the storm.” 

trees DEC planting 11.24.20.jpg
Prospect Park Alliance Vice President of Capital and Landscape Management Christian Zimmerman (center right) joins Alliance horticulturalists to plant a commemorative tree near the Parkside + Ocean Avenue entrance, next to a tree felled by Hurricane Isaias.

And now Prospect Park Alliance knows just how vital these trees are to Brooklyn’s quality of life. A generous grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation provided the Alliance with the opportunity to survey roughly half the park’s 30,000 trees to shed light on their significant impact on Brooklyn’s quality of life, and to create a forest management plan. These efforts were funded by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund, and administered by the Urban and Community Forestry Program in the Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Lands and Forests.  

“Supported by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s record $300 million sustained investments in the Environmental Protection Fund, as well as partnerships with communities, environmental groups, and civic organizations, New York has significantly improved the health of community forests,” said Robert Davies, Director, Division of Lands and Forests, and State Forester, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Through the collected data, and using the U.S. Forest Service’s iTree ECO Report, the Alliance discovered that the 15,698 trees surveyed in Prospect Park trees provide more than $2 million in annual environmental benefits: removing 21,000 pounds of pollutants and 3,000 tons of greenhouse gases from the air, and saving 1,300 megawatt hours of energy consumption and 22 million gallons of stormwater runoff from the city sewer system. 

Prospect Park Alliance conducts commemorative tree plantings each fall and spring. Through this program, roughly 1,100 trees have been planted over the past 30 years. Learn more about our commemorative tree program. 

Want to learn more about Prospect Park’s surveyed trees and their benefit to our community? View the Prospect Park TreeKeeper Interactive Map.