Photo Courtesy of the New York Restoration Project.

Free trees in Melrose

After an extended hiatus throughout lockdown, New York Restoration Project has recommenced its tree giveaways. On May 21, the giveaway will come to the New Roots Community Farm in Melrose.

The event will be held between 1 and 3 p.m. at 670 Grand Concourse. Although all trees are currently reserved, visitors are encouraged to come after 2 p.m. During the latter half of the event, unclaimed trees will be made available to those without reservations.

The program, backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is handing out 2,000 free trees across all New York City boroughs. At Melrose, participants will receive trees of four native species: persimmon, black gum, redbud and sweet magnolia.

The New Roots Community Farm visit is among the project’s final giveaway events of the spring. On May 1, the organization came to the Bruckner Mott Haven Community Garden, followed by a May 14 visit to Morrisania. The project will also stop at Jerome Park on May 21.

The Restoration Project began its tree giveaways in 2010 during its participation in MillionTreesNYC, a city initiative by Mayor Michael Bloomberg that began in 2007. The one millionth tree was planted in 2015 in Joyce Kilmer Park near the Grand Concourse. The initiative prioritized “underserved” areas of the city for new street trees.  By November 2015, 1,409 street trees had been planted in Hunts Point alone.

This isn’t the first time the project will set foot in the South Bronx. The group’s Gardens for the City program partnered with the International Rescue Committee to revamp the site in 2021. In the same year, the group also worked on the Bruckner-Mott Haven Community Garden and brought new garden beds, picnic tables and other modifications to P.S. 811X in Hunts Point.

The Restoration Project provides a tree care guide on its website, including planting and watering instructions.

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