More than 60 people gathered in Prospect Park Saturday to volunteer as part of the first City of Forest Day.
“I feel good because I’m helping the park out. I like biking in here,” 10-year-old volunteer, Samuel Flexer, said.
This event was one of over 50 events being held around the city for the Forest for All Coalition to educate New Yorkers about the city’s urban forests and how to protect and maintain it.
The Prospect Park Alliance hosted the event where volunteers put down mulch, cut down invasive plants, and cleaned up litter.
“Not only do they provide the scenic beauty that you’re seeing here today, but they really benefit the community, not only our mental health. It cleans our airs. It cools the temperature. And really contributes to everyone’s health and wellbeing,” Deborah Kirschner, vice president of the Prospect Park Alliance, said.
New York City's urban forest includes over seven million trees on public and private property.
The trees also provide food and habitat for city wildlife. Advocates say it’s important to preserve and also look at ways to expand the canopy to benefit more people.
“I think it’s fun. It’s actually heavier than I expected. But it’s interesting. I’m very interested in how we can protect the environment,” Qing Lin, a volunteer, said.