Fw: NYC DOE - PRESS RELEASE - CHANCELLOR KLEIN JOINS 250 FIFTH-GRADE STUDENTS FOR ARBOR DAY TREE-PLANTING IN BROOKLYN
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Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2009 16:01:04 -0400
Subject: NYC DOE - PRESS RELEASE - CHANCELLOR KLEIN JOINS 250 FIFTH-GRADE STUDENTS FOR ARBOR DAY TREE-PLANTING IN BROOKLYN
April 24, 2009
CHANCELLOR KLEIN JOINS 250 FIFTH-GRADE STUDENTS FOR ARBOR DAY TREE-PLANTING IN BROOKLYN
Through Partnership With the New York Restoration Project, Public School Children Join Effort to Plant a Million Trees in New York City by 2017
Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today joined more than 250 New York City fifth graders in an Arbor Day tree-planting ceremony to mark the inaugural year of a pilot program launched jointly by the Department of Education and the New York Restoration Project (NYRP). The program, called RespecTREE, incorporates instruction about trees into the fifth-grade curriculum and is part of the MillionTreesNYC initiative, through which the City aims to plant and care for one million new trees throughout all five boroughs by 2017. Today’s ceremony took place at Sternberg Park in East Williamsburg, where Chancellor Klein was joined by New York City Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, New York Restoration Project Executive Director Drew Becher, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress Glenn Close, and the CEO of BNP Paribas, North America, Everett Schenk.
Ten elementary schools across the City are participating this year in RespecTREE, the joint Department of Education and New York Restoration Project pilot program. RespecTREE students are members of the high school class of 2017, the year that MillionTreesNYC is projected to reach its goal of one million newly planted trees. Educators lead these current fifth-grade students in lessons throughout the school year designed to empower them to create greener schoolyards and play-areas at their schools. Since November, educators from the Department of Education and the NYRP have held monthly educational sessions in participating classrooms, highlighting the importance of trees in our urban ecosystem, tree species identification and urban ecology, and the role each student plays in tree stewardship.
Students worked this morning to plant more than 200 trees in East Williamsburg at New York City Housing Authority Developments and PS 250, a local elementary school. The trees planted today add to the 175,000 trees that have already been planted through MillionTreesNYC.
“Given that Mayor Bloomberg opened this week with a citywide call to service, it ' s altogether fitting that we’re ending the week by taking time to plant trees with our public school students,” said Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein. “Through our partnership with the New York Restoration Project, the Department of Education is working to ensure that our students enjoy the educational and environmental benefits that come from planting and caring for new trees. It’s encouraging to see fifth graders joining in the effort to make every school a greener and more beautiful place to learn.”
“New Yorkers across the city are celebrating Arbor Day by planting and watering trees as part of MillionTreesNYC,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Trees bring enormous environmental and public health benefits and make the city more livable. We ask all New Yorkers to register planted trees online at www.milliontreesnyc.org or call 311."
“New York Restoration Project’s RespecTREE program is proving to be an incredible tool for engaging students about the important benefits trees provide our communities, New York City , and the environment,” said Drew Becher, Executive Director of New York Restoration Project. “This innovative program is not only helping us reach our million-tree goal now, it is empowering students to be the City’s environmental leaders of tomorrow.”
“BNP Paribas is delighted to be part of the Arbor Day task force for the second consecutive year,” said Everett Schenk, CEO of BNP Paribas, North America , which sponsored today’s event. “Our employee volunteers are thrilled to have the opportunity to team up with other communities to plant trees and make New York a greener place to live and work.”
The MillionTreesNYC initiative is dedicated to transforming New York City ’s landscape and expanding the city’s urban forest by 20 percent. High participation in the program will allow New Yorkers across the five boroughs to share in the many benefits that come from planting trees in their yards: more beautiful neighborhoods, cleaner air and water, higher property values, energy savings, cooler summer streets, and a healthier, more environmentally sustainable City. In order to achieve the initiative’s ambitious goal, MillionTreesNYC is asking all New Yorkers to get involved. To learn how to join MillionTreesNYC, City residents can visit www.milliontreesnyc.org.
Contact: David Cantor / William Havemann (212) 374-5141