Congratulations to the 2014 TD Green Streets Recipients:

The Bronx, NY

The city of New York and local nonprofit The Bronx River Alliance are working together to improve wildlife habitat and protect and restore the Bronx River Forest. They hope to do this while engaging local community volunteers in the process of building long-term stewardship—including over 200 volunteers from schools such as Bronx Community Charter School and The Learning Tree and local groups including Bronx Park East Community Association.

The Bronx River Forest is one of the last functioning floodplains in all of NYC. Although major improvements have been made this past decade, continued management is needed to sustain the vital functions the floodplain provides to the river. This project will help to plant approximately 600 native trees in 3 plots totaling 13,340 square feet (.31 acres) over the span of a year. By engaging the community in planting and stewardship activities—and providing education about environmental issues on the river—funds from TD Green Streets will help hundreds of people connect to their natural surroundings and become advocates for the forest’s future. These service learning experiences are valuable opportunities for residents of all ages to gain lifelong skills in ecological restoration and develop a foundation of stewardship for the river.

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Charleston, SC

The City of Charleston will use the funds from its TD Green Streets grant to contribute to the overall livability and sustainability of neighborhoods by planting 25 to 30 trees. The trees will be planted in areas where the city provides home repair services and newly constructed homes for LMI families. Planting trees on neighborhood streets where there is little or none present will improve air quality and contribute to the beautification of communities. In addition to the planting of trees, the grant will also be used to provide scholarships to volunteers and city staff for training/education. Through the use of this grant, Charleston plans to increase the impact on the city’s neighborhoods through partnerships with the Mayor’s 10,000 Trees for Charleston Initiative, the city’s Urban Forestry Division, Charleston Trees, New Israel Reformed Episcopal Church, Historic Charleston Foundation, Trees SC and community stakeholders.

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Chelsea, MA

The City of Chelsea’s TD Green Streets program will encompass the planting of street trees in the city’s lowest income and most densely populated neighborhoods and the creation of a bi-lingual afterschool tree planting program. Goals of the program include increasing tree cover in densely populated communities of Chelsea and developing community awareness of the value and role trees have in improving quality of life. This program is a team effort between the City of Chelsea and the volunteer-based Chelsea Green Space Committee (Green Space).

The community at large will be involved as tree stewards and therefore will strengthen the community, encourage tree planting, bring neighbors and residents together and make people aware of the importance of trees to the urban fabric. The TD Green Streets grant will enhance the City of Chelsea’s Urban Forestry Program by attracting community attention to and involvement in the work of the Chelsea Tree Board in promoting the expansion and maintenance of the city’s tree canopy and by furthering the reach and goals of a tree class that has been offered annually on Arbor Day for the past three years. In addition, it will deepen the knowledge and breadth of work underlying Chelsea’s status as a Tree City USA.

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Easton, PA

The City of Easton, in partnership with the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership, the Easton Area Community Center, West Ward residents and student volunteers from Lafayette College, will work to revitalize Easton’s densely populated West Ward by planting street trees and educating the residents about basic tree care. With TD Green Streets funds, they will pilot a program of tree planting—using small trees that are appropriate for the tight spacing of the homes and overhead utilities. This will include education, incentives for participation and follow-up tree care. The city’s street tree inventory shows that there are 150 possible planting sites in this area. The city and its partners will work with residents to identify sites, cut the tree wells and purchase trees. They will also work with the residents and volunteers to plant the trees. This program will truly enhance Easton’s community forestry program by demonstrating how appropriately-sized trees can improve the streetscape without causing hardship and by fostering a greater sense of ownership of the trees.

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Hartford, CT

The City of Hartford will work with its closest nonprofit forestry partner, KNOX, and neighborhood residents to continue the expansion of the Trees for Hartford’s Neighborhoods (TFHN) model into the planting and care of 71 fruit trees on two planting days. TFHN challenges neighborhoods to come together to request, plant and care for trees. With funds from their TD Green Streets grant, the city and KNOX will close the final gap in the TFHN model. The City Forester and KNOX meet with the neighborhood twice to choose trees, plan the planting and provide instruction for aftercare. The residents will plant the trees with the assistance of city and KNOX staff. Regular check-ins will follow to ensure the new trees are properly maintained. KNOX will replicate this model with fruit trees in Hartford’s North End, traditionally one of the city’s most challenging neighborhoods. This project will reverse long-held mistrust of trees in some neighborhoods stemming from the mass planting of Silver Maples (and their tendency to split) 70 years prior. In five years, this city program has expanded from planting 100-200 trees a year to 1,000 trees a year. This is part of the Mayor’s goal of 20,000 new trees in the next 10 years in order to revive the canopy’s economic, social and environmental benefits.

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Hoboken, NJ

The City of Hoboken, along with the Hoboken Shade Tree Commission will use funds from the TD Green Streets grant program to launch an outreach and education program aimed at increasing public awareness of trees among children, families and business owners. The project will be carried out in partnership with the Hoboken Board of Education, Hoboken Housing Authority, Hoboken Public Library, Hoboken Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Newark Conservancy. The proposed Hoboken City Tree Awareness Program will include educational presentations in Hoboken through the Greater Newark Conservancy’s Reverse Field Trip Program, school field trips to the Judith L. Shipley Urban Environmental Center, community tree planting and volunteer maintenance events, and workshops that teach proper tree maintenance practices to business and property owners in Hoboken.

Hoboken’s high population density ranks among the top four municipalities in the nation. This makes community forestry of great importance. Congested urban streets are lined with 3-4 story brownstones, resulting in limited parkland and narrow sidewalk space available for street trees. By engaging youth and adult audiences with educational programming on street trees and connecting with business and property owners to increase tree maintenance capacity, the city will use grant funding to advance several goals in the city’s Community Forestry Plan. They hope to educate residents and businesses in the city of the need to protect and maintain each and every tree.

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Miami, FL

Funding from the TD Green Streets grant program in Miami will be used towards an inter-agency tree planting and volunteer training project located at the Northside Metrorail Station. The Northside Tree Planting Project will be implemented and coordinated by the Community Image Office of the Miami-Dade County Department of Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces. For decades, urban sprawl and development have been impacting the community’s tree canopy. The concept and objectives of this project tie into the vision of the Million Trees Miami Campaign, a county-level community-wide effort led by Parks, to plant a million trees by 2020 and achieve 30% tree canopy coverage in Miami-Dade County. The TD Green Streets grant will enhance the current forestry program by directly assisting in the planting of trees in a highly visible, high-transit location. It is critical to the Million Trees Miami Campaign that the ‘plant-a-tree’ message is shared as widely and frequently as possible. The grant project will help in this goal by enabling the city to add and maintain new trees, train volunteers and nonprofit staff in tree management, fabricate and install interpretive signage and reach thousands of local residents through their efforts.

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North Hempstead, NY

The Town of North Hempstead will use their TD Green Streets grant funds to increase the tree canopy in the residential neighborhood of New Cassel, which borders a highly industrial region. Along with the increased tree canopy, the town will also work with existing community nonprofit organizations and the local high school to educate residents on the benefits of a tree canopy as well as proper care and maintenance. New Cassel, which is located in the Westbury region, is a perfect example of how Long Island was developed—not only with a lack of planning that led to sprawl, traffic and other problems, but, in many cases, with the unexpressed yet deliberate purpose of creating segregated and disenfranchised communities for people of color. Through years of neglect, racial steering, environmental contamination and no access to the power structure, New Cassel had become one of the most impoverished and disenfranchised communities on Long Island.

North Hempstead has been working with the hamlet of New Cassel for more than a decade to address brownfields, blight and economic deterioration through the upgrade of infrastructure, the attraction of new business and community housing, the deployment of new community facilities and the development of parks and recreational space. The town has joined with the private sector, the community and all levels of government to revitalize New Cassel with $80 million in private development, including the country’s first LEEDs-Platinum Certified Community Center. The Town has been partnering with the Unified New Cassel Community Revitalization Corporation to combat the years of neglect, racial steering and environmental contamination. These funds will allow for increased planting, maintenance and education of trees in a low to middle income community that was adversely affected for decades and made worse recently after Superstorm Sandy destroyed over 1,700 trees.

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Tampa, FL

Long-term sustainability of the urban forest requires strong public/private partnerships. The City of Tampa—in partnership with the Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education program, University of Florida, Tampa Heights Senior Civic Association and the VM Ybor Neighborhood Civic Association—will implement a three-pronged program for the urban forestry initiatives incorporating human capital, education and community management. The program will increase residential engagement so that individuals participate in the design, planting, establishment and long-term care of trees. TD Green Streets funding will ensure this important program continues.

The city will implement training developed by the University of Florida IFAS Extension Service for the Tampa Neighborhood Tree Steward Program, and the program will end with tree plantings in the neighborhoods of Ybor City and Tampa Heights.

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Worcester, MA

The City of Worcester—in collaboration with the Worcester Tree Initiative, Worcester Common Ground and Lutheran Social Services—proposes to plant 20 fruit and nut trees on two inner city lots cultivated and maintained by immigrant farmers who will harvest the fruit, increasing their food security. The 20 trees will be planted around the perimeter of the lots, with the interior space used as a community garden site. The Jaques Ave. Community Orchard project will focus on education, training and skills building. A high-profile Community Planting event will increase awareness of the benefits of trees to the entire Worcester community. Immigrant farmers and other community volunteers will plant the trees after being trained by Worcester Tree Initiative staff. Two skills building workshops, targeted at fruit tree growers, will be held during the summer and fall. Interpreters will be hired to work with the immigrant farmers who are not English-speaking.

Worcester’s community forestry program focuses on planting street trees throughout the city. This project will expand the types of trees from what has traditionally been planted, increasing diversity of the urban forest. It will also expand the number of community groups involved in and aware of community forestry, thereby developing long-term, skilled volunteer tree stewards. From this project, the city hopes to learn what works and what doesn’t regarding growing fruit and nut trees in Worcester—which species perform the best, which fruits are most desirable and valuable and what are the best methods for harvesting the most healthy, organic food for city residents.

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