Arbor Day doesn’t get its own parade or fireworks, but it’s still a holiday well worth celebrating. Whether you’re concerned with planetary health or just the shade in your backyard, trees bring pleasure and nourish life. The City has a responsibility to maintain, replace, and increase the number of local trees as a way of enhancing the beauty of our community, improving property values, controlling floods, and helping combat global climate change.

I was pleased to participate last month in New Rochelle’s Arbor Day ceremony, a tree planting at Library Green. The Kwanzan cherry tree planted by students from Isaac Young Middle School joins the nearly 400,000 trees within New Rochelle, almost 30,000 of which are under public ownership.

New Rochelle’s recently-approved Sustainability Plan, GreeNR, will help to expand the City’s tree-planting program and promote private tree planting. One of the plan’s “10 Big Goals for 2030” is to plant at least 10,000 new trees on public property. As a first step, we will soon conduct an intensive tree survey to help identify “vacancies” where street trees can be most appropriately situated and to determine which tree species are most likely to thrive in particular settings.