As Councilman David Greenfield prepares to leave for the nonprofit sector, he is touting a free tree program he secured funding for, which he says has a tree in every conceivable place Midwood can have.
The “Trees for Everyone” project will have resulted in nearly 1,500 trees planted in the neighborhood by the end of his term in December.
“Once this project is done, Midwood is going to be at what’s called ‘planting capacity,’” said Councilman Greenfield, a Democrat from South Brooklyn. “There are only so many places in New York City where it’d make sense to plant a tree, and by next year, there won’t be any more of those places left in Midwood. We’ve found out every single place that the Parks Department can put a tree, and we’re going to put trees in all of them.”
This year’s planting of about 1,000 trees cost $1,640,000. Mr. Greenfield said that he believes they’ll pay off many times over because it increases property values.
“Most importantly, people like them,” Councilman Greenfield said. “Trees make people happy. It makes neighborhoods nicer with greenery, shade and environmental benefits.”
Yet even trees have their critics, principally homeowners who don’t want to worry about roots interfering with their sidewalks or plumbing. Greenfield said he has a deal with the Parks Department that they won’t plant his trees where a homeowner is opposed. Homeowners should call the city to opt out.
There’s no word yet on what type of trees will be planted next year, though a meeting is scheduled for later this week with Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Martin Maher. Greenfield says that he’ll argue for big, picturesque specimens and no gingko trees, which are notorious for their unpleasant odor.
“I only have one rule: not stinky trees,” Greenfield joked.