Garden News Blog

Last of the Million Trees Given Away at BBG

New Yorkers thronged to Brooklyn Botanic Garden this weekend to collect the last hundred trees given out by MillionTreesNYC. The campaign launched in 2007 as a partnership between the city and the New York Restoration Project (NYRP), a nonprofit urban greening organization founded by Bette Midler.

The goal, of course: to plant one million additional trees in the five boroughs, increasing the city's total coverage by 20 percent. To that end, the city planted public park and street trees; the NYRP focused on greening other community sites and private homes, distributing 50,000 trees at botanic gardens, stores, and schools. Saturday’s event was the final giveaway.

“For those of us who really watched this campaign from the beginning, it’s kind of momentous to realize that the final number has been reached,” says Nina Browne, BBG’s GreenBridge program manager.

Trees were given away to residents from all over the borough. Those who applied to receive them provided assurance that they had a place to plant them—either a suitable spot in their yard or building lot, or in a community or school garden.

GreenBridge offers classes and other resources for New Yorkers who want to help care for the city’s trees.

Sarah Schmidt edits BBG's editorial content, including the blog, how-to articles, and the Guides for a Greener Planet handbook series.

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MillionTreesNYC Giveaway
Sisters Nadine and Marie-Lucie Legros, above, will plant their plumcots in Flatbush. Photo by Nina Browne.
MillionTreesNYC Giveaway
Many folks brought their children along to help choose their trees. Photo by Nina Browne.
MillionTreesNYC Giveaway
This is the third giveaway GreenBridge has participated in. “We are eager to support people growing food, too, so we try to request as many fruit trees as possible,” says Browne. Fig trees, above, have been a popular choice. Photo by Nina Browne.
MillionTreesNYC Giveaway
In addition to fruit trees, magnolias were also distributed. Photo by Nina Browne.
MillionTreesNYC Giveaway
Zenobia McNally lives in Flatbush on a block that frequently enters the annual Greenest Block in Brooklyn contest. She plans to plant this plumcot in her yard there. Photo by Nina Browne.
MillionTreesNYC Giveaway
Brooklyn Urban Gardener Natalie Sablon, above left, congratulates the recipient of the very last tree. Photo by Nina Browne.
MillionTreesNYC Giveaway
With the final tree given away, BBG staff and volunteers burst into song, including a rendition of “One” from A Chorus Line. “The next step is to help make sure all of these new trees are taken care of and thrive,” says Brown. “But we’ve been doing that since before MillionTrees, and we’ll be doing it for years to come.” Photo by Nina Browne.