September 27, 2021
Coalition Calls on Lawmakers to Uplift the Urban Forest and Its Benefits by Supporting the NYC Urban Forest Agenda.
Forest for All NYC commends the New York City Council for holding today’s hearing on one of the City’s most vital natural resources – the urban forest. Whether it is providing shade during extreme heat, reducing stormwater runoff in record flooding or simply being a space for exploration and enjoyment, the urban forest is critical to everyday life in New York City.
Unfortunately, the urban forest in New York City is also vulnerable. Underfunded and under-resourced, it lacks a coordinated management plan and is largely unprotected from removal on both public and private lands.
Beyond today’s legislation, we encourage City Council to consider setting a long-term, visionary direction for our city’s urban forest in support of public health, equity, quality of life, resilience, and justice. Forest for All NYC recently released the NYC Urban Forest Agenda which outlines 12 key actions that can make a meaningful and positive difference both in our urban forest and in the lives of all New Yorkers.
Forest for All NYC is calling on the City Council to:
- Establish a citywide goal of 30% canopy cover by 2035
- Call for and resource a master plan for of NYC’s urban forest for its whole life-cycle from planting to salvage
- Support development of community-scale urban forest plans and goals
- Increase and equitably distribute funding for both maintenance and planting of the urban forest
- Strengthen tree regulations and establish incentive programs that sustain and expand tree canopy across both public and private property
We remain encouraged by today’s hearing and look forward to working as partners with the City Council to advance meaningful and effective urban forest legislation.