The reservoir's historic structures & ecosystems are an opportunity to create a unique environmental education center for our children & their future.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Nature Conservancy article

The following article is from The Nature Conservancy's magazine "Nature". Commissioner Benepe seems to understand the need for trees in New York City. So why would he be so determined to ruin a forested area that resides at the top of the Jamaica Bay Watershed and serves the very functions that he correctly believes NYC desperately needs?

From "Nature New York", Fall/Winter 2007

A Shady Plan for New York City

Deep in the Adirondacks, The Nature Conservancy is safeguarding millions of trees from development and destruction. Miles away in New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced a plan to add an additional one million trees to the city's urban forest by 2017.

Nature New York wondered how this plan will make a difference to New York City, and how it might play into the Conservancy's own global forest initiative. Adrian Benepe, NYC Parks and Recreation commissioner, took time out to talk.

NNY: What will an additional one million trees do for the city?

Benepe: Trees are a vital part of our city, they improve air quality by reducing temperatures which in turn, reduces energy consumption by buildings. They remove pollutants from the air and they mitigate climate change by capturing and storing carbon. Trees also help our water systems by intercepting rain before it reaches sewers and filtering runoff through their soil and roots. And finally, they benefit the health and safety of our residents and promote neighborhood revitalization, economic development and greater community pride.

NNY: What will it cost, and who will pay for it?

Benepe: The money will come almost completely from New York City's budget. The great part is, when you take into account all the services we get from trees, the USDA Forest Service estimates that for every dollar we invest, we get a return of five dollars in property value, pollution mitigation, energy savings, and storm water management.

What can The Nature Conservancy do to support this effort?

Benepe: The Conservancy already does so much by raising awareness, promoting conservation, and encouraging people to think about healthy ecosystems. The bottom line is that trees, whether in the Adirondacks or New York City, are of tremendous value for people and or nature.

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