Not everyone is foolish enough to show up for a tree-planting in a suit and tie, but apparently that’s how mayors celebrate Arbor Day. Last month I assisted a great group of students from NRHS (who were all dressed much more appropriately for the task at hand) and we placed a new sapling in the ground by the Twin Lakes.

Trees are unsung heroes of our city. By providing shade and creating a pleasing streetscape, trees make New Rochelle a nicer place to live (and help increase property values). Through photosynthesis, trees clean the air we breathe and reduce carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere. With strong roots and a healthy thirst, trees also help control flooding and erosion.

Not that one tree can make that sort of difference … but thousands can. New Rochelle has nearly 400,000 trees, 30,000 of which are under public ownership. And one of the goals set forth in last year’s GreeNR Sustainability Plan is to plant 10,000 new trees on public property by 2030.

So maybe Arbor Day really is worth dressing up for.