Monday, July 4, 2011

Citizen Pruner In Action (II): Various

BEFORE: Tree Pit Littered With Cigarette Butts, Broken Glass, Trash, Weeds, and
Tree Sprouts (a tree's defense mechanism to try to save itself in harsh conditions)
Some of you may be wondering whatever happened to my goal to become a Citizen Pruner.  Well, a few weeks ago I graduated and I am now an officially licensed Citizen Pruner.  That's right, I attended classes, did some field work, and took and passed a test to become a volunteer in the City to help take care of the trees that line the streets.

AFTER: Pruned Tree and
Cleaned Up and Planted Tree Pit
Explanatory Background: When I moved back to NYC in 2005, I did so with my little suburbanite dog, Biscuit.  She was definitely not used to the sights, smells, traffic, and noise in the City, but the most pressing drama revolved around the lack of grass and trees so that she could do her business (I lived on Park Avenue south of Grand Central and there were few non-cemented or asphalted areas in the neighborhood).  I found myself pleading with her (okay, once I even cried because I missed my train to go to work waiting for her to go) and trailing other owners and their dogs, hoping my Biscuit would get the idea of what she needed to do by watching others. 

So when I heard about the Citizen Pruner Program and my schedule permitted, I decided to go for it and give back to the City in a way that was meaningful to me and Biscuit.  Through this program I learned about how to identify and care for street trees that provide shade, clean our air, reduce noise pollution, add to the beauty and livability of NYC, and, of course, provide spots for our beloved animals to relieve themselves (although the salt in their waste really hurts the trees if there is not enough water to diffuse the effects--ergo all of the "Curb Your Dog" signs).

AFTER: Beautified Tree Pit.  Hopefully the
Flowers Grow and People will Refrain from Trashing This
For those who want to commit less time, but would like to help, there is an Adopt a Tree Program.  In addition to being a Citizen Pruner, I've adopted a tree (Trees NY provides volunteers with free hand gardening tools), and I think even the little work I've done has made a big difference (see left). 

So New Yorkers, don't just talk about how great NYC is, do something to help improve it.  Adopt a tree, don't throw litter on the ground (my gosh there is a trash can at every corner--use them), smile as you walk around, and enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment