Restoring Prospect Park’s Evergreen Trees
December 14, 2016
There are many ways to contribute to Prospect Park—you can volunteer your time, donate or become a member of the Prospect Park Alliance, or even buy a ticket for a ride on the Park’s historic Carousel. The newest way to make a difference in Brooklyn’s Backyard? Plant an evergreen tree!
This year, the Alliance has launched a commemorative evergreen tree program, allowing individuals to donate these hardy year-round species to the Park. Prospect Park is home to 30,000 trees of more than 150 species, the vast majority of which are deciduous, meaning that they lose all their leaves for part of the year. These deciduous species get plenty of attention for their flowers, fruits and fall foliage, but this new program shifts the focus to an oft-overlooked set of species.
“The Park needs evergreens for a variety of reasons,” says John Jordan, Director of Landscape Management at the Prospect Park Alliance. “They give winter interest and they provide habitat for a wide variety of species. Furthermore, many of the previous evergreen species planted in the Park (such as Austrian pines and Northern Hemlock) have been dying out, and we do not want to lose the evergreen presence.”
While Prospect Park Alliance arborists are still determining which species of evergreens will come to the Park, two that are likely to be included are the white pine (Pinus strobus), a native to eastern North America that can easily live to be 200 years old, and the American holly (Ilex opaca), whose berries attract a variety of songbirds.
“The program is a great way to give back to the park and to help us maintain a diversity of tree species,” says Jordan. “A diverse forest is a healthy forest.”