Branching out! New York Restoration Project to give away free trees for Earth Month

New York Restoration Project announces the return free tree giveaways with community partners starting April 13.
The New York Restoration Project will give away free trees to commemorate Earth Month, beginning Saturday, April 13.
Photo courtesy of New York Restoration Project

New Yorkers are going green for Earth Month with the help of New York Restoration Project’s free tree giveaway.

Beginning Saturday, April 13, NYRP — a non-profit organization working to maintain public open space throughout the city — will team up with business and cultural partners across the five boroughs to distribute 3,500 trees to various libraries, community centers and beautification projects. 

As climate change affects city green spaces, organizers say programs like NYRP’s tree giveaway play an essential role in restoring vegetation life.

“This beloved program continues to spread the undeniable benefits of our urban tree canopy to the neighborhoods that need them most,” Lynn Bodnar Kelly, NYRP’s executive director, said in a statement. “Our city must get more trees in the ground if we want to truly increase New York’s environmental resilience.”

Families can pick up free trees from over 20 different locations across the city.
Families can pick up free trees from over 20 different locations across the city.Photo courtesy of New York Restoration Project

The program first started in 2008 and, this year, the team will celebrate giving away their 75,000th tree. Residents can pick up trees of more than 30 different species, including American Persimmon, Black Cherry, Eastern Redbud, Elderberry, Red Maple and others.

The greenery not only offers an aesthetically pleasing view but also provides shade, creates wildlife habitat, reduces temperatures, improves air quality and mitigates storm water run-off, according to park leaders. 

It's all smiles for free trees during Earth Month.
It’s all smiles for free trees during Earth Month.Photo courtesy of New York Restoration Project

“Distributing trees across all five boroughs helps the city move closer to our goal of achieving 30% canopy coverage,” said Sue Donoghue, commissioner for NYC Parks, in a statement. “Trees not only enhance the beauty of our neighborhoods but also serve as vital allies in our fight against climate change and efforts to enhance air quality.”

To get a free tree, recipients must first register online. Giveaways begin on April 13 and will run until May 12 at various locations. Some Brooklyn pick-up sites include The Wyckoff House Museum on April 20, Green-Wood Cemetery on April 28, Red Hook Farms and Brownsville Public Library on May 4, and more.