1 Million Trees & Counting: NYC restores its urban forest faster than expected

When New York City first set a goal to plant a million new trees in a decade, it was more ambitious than any city tree planting project that had ever been attempted before.

Now they’ve finished two years ahead of schedule.

The MillionTreesNYC campaign—dreamed up by former Mayor Bloomberg and Bette Midler, who runs the nonprofit New York Restoration Project, while they were on a walk in a park—became part of PlaNYC, a massive strategy to make the city more sustainable.

The long list of benefits of city trees, from sucking pollution out of the air to filtering stormwater, keeps getting longer.

There’s been an avalanche of new research,” says Deborah Marton, executive director of the New York Restoration Project (NYRP).

Trees can make city dwellers happier and smarter, and reduce diseases like obesity and diabetes. More trees on a city block can even make us feel younger and richer.

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