The City of New Rochelle observed Arbor Day by planting an oak tree at D’Onofrio Park, joined by fifth grade students from Jefferson School. New Rochelle is celebrating 30 years as a Tree City. The ceremony featured Deputy Mayor Sara Kaye, joined by Deputy City Manager Kathleen Gill, Development Commissioner Adam Salgado, Planning and Sustainability Director Kevin Kain, Sustainability Coordinator Nick Sioufas, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Vin Parise, Forester Paul Rebholz, and Jefferson School Principal Kim Nieves and fifth grade teacher Victoria Cooke.
“Trees provide so many benefits to us, and every year we lose hundreds of trees in New Rochelle to age, disease, development, and extreme weather- which is why it’s so important that we replace them,” Deputy Mayor Sara Kaye told the class.
In addition to recognition as a Tree City for three decades, New Rochelle also received a “Growth Award” from the Arbor Day Foundation for environmental prowess including:
- Adopting a resolution declaring a climate emergency
- Acquiring additional open space that will be permanently protected as a public nature preserve
- Creating a public-private partnership with the Wards Acres Conservancy, through which citizens can volunteer for tree planting and care activities
- Creating a new staff position of Sustainability Coordinator
- Supporting the “Healthy Yards” campaign to promote awareness of sustainable landscaping practices
- Joining the (FCWC) Student Network- a group of motivated high school and college-aged environmental activists, for a ceremonial tree planting in front of City Hall in recognition of the Climate Emergency Declaration
“I am extremely proud of all these actions and very grateful to my colleagues on Council and our professional City staff for making trees a priority,” concluded Deputy Mayor Kaye. “I look forward to furthering our commitment to the environment and New Rochelle’s urban forest.”
Residents can sign up for a street tree in their neighborhood through the City’s website www.newrochelleny.com/plantatree. Building the City’s tree canopy is one of the goals of greeNR, New Rochelle’s sustainability plan.