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I Sit And Look Out: Program teaches youth about tree care

The Rockaways have been identified as one of six Trees for Public Health Neighborhoods in the greatest need of trees because the area has fewer than average street trees and higher than average rates of asthma among young people.

MillionTreesNYC has a wide variety of literature for all ages, but its school material is especially well-crafted. Some of the initiatives cited are Respectree, Talkin’ Trees, 15 for Trees, Make Every Day an Arbor Day, GreenApple Corps School programs, Natural Classroom, Schools and Trees, Seeds to Trees, Training Student Organizers and Young/Junior Tree Pruners. Educators on every level will find useful and exciting programs.

For information about schoolyard tree planting and education programs, contact the New York Restoration Project at 212-333-2552 or nyrp.org or the city Parks Department at 212-360-8111 or nycgovparks.org.

There are and will be initiatives for homeowners to plant trees on their properties. Keep looking for more information.

Once the trees are planted, the hard part begins. Trees need care and stewardship is the key word in the MillionTreesNYC program. Here are a few tips:

• water trees on your property or on your street. Trees need a minimum of 20 gallons of water each week, especially during the summer.

• by adopting a street tree in your neighborhood, you can help its growth by watering and protecting it from animal waste, hazardous material and litter.

• by joining the MillionTreesNYC Stewardship Corps, you can take advantage of free tree care training and resources.

MillionTreesNYC has started a seven-month “green collar” job training program established to produce a class of highly trained green professionals. The program begins Oct. 5 and runs through next April. Trainees will work 33 hours a week, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and earn $10.24 per hour. To find out more information, including securing an application, contact milliontreestraining@parks.nyc.gov.

MillionTreesNYC is an ambitious program which has done much in the less than two years it has been in existence. If it continues at this pace, it will certainly make the objective of planting 1 million trees by 2017.

And all of us will be much better for it.

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