skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Closing arguments today in NY Trump trial; KY education activists campaign against public funds for private schools; FL expert stresses vigilance, and compassion this hurricane season; and working to create connections, age-friendly communities in Mississippi.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial, while both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Advocates: NYC Tree Canopy Must Be Equitably Distributed

play audio
Play

Tuesday, June 28, 2022   

With a historic budget for parks and recreation, New York City is crafting strategic plans to increase tree canopy through an environmental justice lens.

New York City's $624 million parks budget includes funding for capital projects such as planting 20,000 new trees. City Council recently held an oversight hearing on increasing tree canopy, which gave residents the chance to provide input on shade access in their community.

Council Member representing Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, Shekar Krishnan - who chairs the Committee on Parks and Recreation - said the hearing can inform solutions to addressing disparities of tree presence in different neighborhoods.

"In particular, low-income communities of color have far less tree-canopy coverage than other neighborhoods do," said Krishnan, "and that directly results in hotter temperatures known as the 'urban heat island' effect. And so the brunt of the lack of tree-canopy coverage isn't shared equally."

The budget also includes funding for stump removal, which can make way for new trees. A report from The Nature Conservancy found that as of 2017, the city's overall tree canopy was about 22%.

Victoria Sanders - research analyst with the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance - said as New York City moves forward with plans for improving tree-canopy equity across the city, communities that have long been disinvested due to racially discriminatory policies such as redlining must be prioritized.

"There's all this red tape that impacts the way funds can be used," said Sanders. "A lot of the trees that are being planted are replacing trees that already exist. So I think there needs to be maybe some pushback so that a larger amount of the money can be put toward making sure there's equitable tree distribution."

Emily Nobel Maxwell - New York Cities program director for The Nature Conservancy - said she's excited by the budget investments in urban forests, but said there's more work to be done.

"We know that to better ameliorate the impacts of extreme heat, we need more tree canopy," said Maxwell. "It would mean protecting and maintaining the canopy we have. And that requires maintenance funding, laws to protect our canopy, it requires enforcement."

The Forest For All NYC coalition has called for a citywide goal of 30% tree coverage by 2035.



Disclosure: The Nature Conservancy in New York - Long Island contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The National Association of Broadcasters says more than 82 million individuals tune in to AM radio. (kittyfly/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The "AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act" now in Congress would mandate all new cars in the U.S. be equipped with AM radios, which is stirring a debate in …


Social Issues

play sound

Food insecurity is up in Nebraska and most parts of the country, according to the nonprofit Feeding America but the U.S. House Agriculture …

Social Issues

play sound

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has vetoed several bills intended to do more to address the rights of renters in the Commonwealth. Along with …


Episode One of the documentary "Take Me Out Feet First" follows the story of Miriam and Robert Meshel as they chose to use California's End of Life Option Act to access medical aid in dying. (Serene Meshel-Dillman)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A new documentary series looks at medical aid in dying through the eyes of terminally ill people advocating for a peaceful passing on their own terms…

play sound

A North Carolina university wants to break the mold for people studying the arts. A new degree program will not require students to narrow their …

Social Issues

play sound

If two Michigan lawmakers have their way, there will be fewer locations in the state where people are allowed to carry firearms. State Sen…

Social Issues

play sound

May is Older Americans Month, a time to recognize Mississippians over 50 and their contributions, and reaffirm commitments to serving older adults in …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021