Monday, May 9, 2011

Citizen Pruner Course at The Arsenal: 5th Ave and 64th St

Moving from a suburban house in LA, where everyone had at least a little plot of grass and a few trees, when I first moved back to NYC with my dog I sorely missed nature.  The first winter back here I complained vociferously about being tired of trying to find a little patch of dirt where Biscuit could do her business (she is now a well-adjusted City dog and goes right to the curb and goes on asphalt).  Over the last several years, I have come to appreciate not only the parks of the City, but also the trees (overseen by the Department of Parks) that line the streets (overseen by the Department of Transportation) so when I found out that I could perhaps do something in support of these trees, I was "all in."  Today was the first day of my Citizen Pruner class and I am really enthusiastic about what I may be able to do for the trees in NYC in the future.

Did you know that there are some 5.6 million trees in the five boroughs (there are about 8 million residents)?  Or that currently there are approximately 592,000 trees lining City streets (planned to increase to 800,000 by 2017 under the Million Trees NYC initiative)?  While during the first 2 years after planting a tree is "under warranty" from the contracted gardeners, after that, the trees are very much on their own to "make it in the big City," with a little help from Citizen Pruners, volunteers, and good samaritans.

The Citizen Pruner course (locations vary, but mine is at The Arsenal in Central Park -- see above photo) consists of 4 evening sessions and a full Saturday field session topped by a final exam.  If everything is completed successfully, I will be a licensed Citizen Pruner for five years with the ability to help the trees that line our City streets.  I am very hopeful and feeling inspired.  Maybe I can make a difference in this concrete jungle....

For more information about Citizen Pruner and other Trees NY programs, check out Trees NY Info.

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