Trees offer many benefits to our community — they mitigate flooding by soaking up water, improve air quality, reduce the urban heat island effect, take in carbon dioxide, and, of course, they make our city more attractive. For these reasons, New Rochelle’s Sustainability Plan, GreeNR, sets a target of planting 10,000 new trees on public property by 2030.

This month, the Council will take an important step toward this goal by commissioning an inventory of street trees throughout New Rochelle. Put simply, this analysis will determine where new trees could most sensibly be planted. When completed, the data from this survey will be incorporated into the City’s computer-mapping of New Rochelle and will serve as the basis for a coherent, multi-year program of tree planting. That will be a big improvement over today’s ad hoc tree planting activities.

The study will cost just under $20,000, but will be paid for entirely by the City’s tree fund, which is supported by fees charged in connection with developments and site plan approvals. No general tax money will be employed. By making this modest investment, we can ensure that any future resources devoted to urban forestry are utilized efficiently for maximum public benefit.