Archives for posts with tag: tree stewardship
Native and Not Panel pic

Left to right – Katerli Bounds, Uli Lorimer, Kristy King, Leila Mougoui Bakhtiari

 

On April 28 6:30-8PM, we had our third panel discussion on Native and Not: NYC’s Dynamic Flora as part of our spring theme Living Things in an Urban Environment, where panelists from NYC Parks and Brooklyn Botanic Garden discussed the state of native flora, invasive species management and what we as a community can do to increase floral biodiversity.

Uli Lorimer, Curator of Native Flora from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, brought us beautiful photos alongside sobering news about the declining trend of urban flora in our region.

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Native Flora – Arethusa bulbosa

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NY Metropolitan Flora Project Native Flora Survey Results

 

Kristy King, Director of Forest Restoration of NYC Parks, revealed the surprising number of urban forests, salt marshes and other natural landscapes in NYC while revealing NYC Parks goals for forest restoration.

NYC Parks Goals for Forest Restoration

NYC Parks Goals for Forest Restoration

NYC's Surprising Amount of  Natural Areas

NYC’s Surprising Amount of Natural Areas

 

And Katerli Bounds, Director of Stewardship of NYC Parks, presented us with fantastic ways the NYC community can get involved in stewardship activities through both NYC Parks and the Gowanus Canal Conservancy.  A great upcoming project being TreesCount! 2015 where NYC Parks enlists the help of the NYC community to map and catalogue every tree in NYC.

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Trees Count! 2015

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Stewardship Opportunities in Forestry, Salt Marshes, Fresh Water Wetland and Bioswales

 

Then Leila Mougoui Bakhtiari, our very own volunteer coordinator of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s Urban Forestry program moderated the discussion, bringing up fascinating questions such as:

At what point is a plant species considered to be invasive?

Can invasive species be used to our benefit?

And what are everyones thoughts on the controversial book Wild Urban Plants by Peter Del Tredici?

To listen to the entire panel discussion click here for our audio player.

The evening ended with the quote “if you build it, they will come”, a great segue into our next panel where we delve into urban pollinators. Join us on May 19 6:30-8PM at Threes Brewing for Beyond the Honeybee: Exploring Critical Pollinators where we expand our idea of pollinators, why they are particularly important in an urban setting and action steps the NYC community can take to support their survival.  We will be joined by Sam Droege, head of the bee inventory and monitoring program at the US Geological Survey (click here to see his beautiful bee species photographs), Howard Ginsberg, entomologist for USGS who studies the impact of invertebrates on natural systems and Tina Harrison, Ph.D. candidate for ecology at Rutgers University who is studying the impact on bee genetic diversity in disturbed sites compared to undisturbed sites. Click here to RSVP.

Follow us on Twitter at @GowanusGreen and on Instagram @gowanuscanalconservancy for GCC news, volunteer events and trivia.

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CitiBank’s #CitiVolunteers joined us on June 7, 2014 for some garden and tree stewarding! After Executive Director Hans Hesselein led the volunteers on a tour of the Canal from the Whole Foods Market, they arrived at the Salt Lot to be divided into groups by our awesome volunteer coordinators.

While a small group helped sift compost and propagate seeds at the Salt Lot, others headed out into the neighborhood to prune the street trees along Second Avenue. The rest of the volunteers cleaned up, weeded and mulched the garden by the Whole Foods Market on 3rd Street. Being on a main thoroughfare through the neighborhood, the garden picks up its fair share of trash, but the plants are blooming! Cleaning up the garden allowed for three new species to be planted and watered by the CitiBank volunteers.

The day concluded like most Clean & Green days — volunteers were treated to hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers provided by Whole Foods Markets and shared a few drinks, especially some beers, courtesy of our sponsor, Brooklyn Brewery.

Thanks for your service, #CitiVolunteers! We hope you had a great time discovering the Gowanus neighborhood on that beautiful Saturday morning.

The day began with a tour of the Canal starting at the Whole Foods Market Promenade.

The day began with a tour of the Canal starting at the Whole Foods Market Promenade.

Propagating plants at the Salt Lot.

Propagating plants at the Salt Lot.

 

The trees along Second Avenue and its side-streets got a lot of love on this hot, sunny day!

The trees along Second Avenue and its side-streets got a lot of love on this hot, sunny day!

3rd Street Garden Crew!

Smile for the camera, 3rd Street Garden Crew!

The Conservancy’s Clean & Green Program is supported by the following sponsors:

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Last summer, our Citizen Pruners conducted an inventory of over a thousand trees within two blocks of the Gowanus Canal. Over the past few months, our partners at TreeKIT organized the data collected to map these trees, and we’d like to share their work with everyone.

Street Tree Species mapped (click to enlarge):

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Screenshots of Tree Inventory on www.treekit.org/map (click to enlarge):

a) North: In this image we see what the inventory looks like around the northern portion of the Canal. Note that there are many street trees on lower-density residential streets -- but none on a public housing super-block nearby.

a) North: In this image we see what the inventory looks like around the northern portion of the Canal. Note that there are many street trees on lower-density residential streets — but none on a public housing super-block nearby.

b) Southwest: In this image we see what the inventory looks like around the Southwestern portion of the Canal. We were pleased to find so many trees growing in the predominately residential portion of this area. Note that many residential blocks do not have street trees.

b) Southwest: In this image we see what the inventory looks like around the Southwestern portion of the Canal. We were pleased to find so many trees growing in the predominately residential portion of this area. Note that many residential blocks do not have street trees.

c) Southeast: In this image, we see what the inventory looks like around the Southeastern portion of the Canal. As in the southwest, we found many trees growing on residential blocks, but few in the industrial areas.

c) Southeast: In this image, we see what the inventory looks like around the Southeastern portion of the Canal. As in the southwest, we found many trees growing on residential blocks, but few in the industrial areas.

Complete Tree inventory.

Complete Tree inventory.

To download the Excel file of our Tree Inventory, please click here:
T304833 Gowanus Tree Inventory with Key and LatLong_150527.

This project was funded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Environmental Protection Fund.

Back in February we posted about a project that aimed to map all tree pits within 2 blocks of the canal with the aid of TreeKIT, one of our partners. After reviewing the planning phase detailed in the previous blog post, we were all set to go through with the project.

Through TreesNY’s Citizen Pruner Program, 15 volunteers were trained for the purposes of this project. The Citizen Pruner Program, as described in its website, taught volunteers about “tree biology, street tree identification, common tree problems, tree stewardship, and how to prune dead and damaged limbs.”

The ultimate goal of the tree mapping project was to conduct an inventory of all existing street trees and empty tree pits within approximately 2 blocks of the Gowanus Canal, and with the help of TreeKIT, format and manage the street tree mapping data for public use as well as the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR). This information will help identify potential tree planting sites in addition to preparing a Tree Management Plan; the Conservancy hopes to engage more volunteers in the Gowanus community to steward local trees. The Management Plan would include a mobile platform where volunteers can log their stewardship activity.

In order to collect the data, the 15 volunteers who underwent the Citizen Pruning Program were designated as ‘Mapping Stewards’ and led volunteers around the proposed mapping site to collect the data.

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 3.33.14 PM

The zones seen here served as guidelines for which areas the Mapping Stewards and their fellow mappers covered.

The Tree Mapping event was a great success – see the finished map on TreeKIT’s website! You can zoom in to individual trees to view details such as species, DBH (diameter at breast height), and its health.

Among the data collected are the following:

  • Out of the 294 block segments mapped, 113 had no trees, or 38.4% of block segments
  • Total amount of living trees: 1009
  • Total standing dead trees: 12
  • Total stumps: 22
  • Total number of tree beds: 1093
  • Total empty tree beds: 50
  • Median tree diameter DBH: 6.0″
  • Biggest tree DBH: 38.2″
  • Living trees with genus and species unknown: 11

Finally, check out some of these pictures of the data collection process in action!

Discussing the data gathered.

Tree mappers on the move!

Measuring the DBH.

We would like to thank our partners at TreeKIT and TreesNY for collaborating with us on this project. We also want to thank all of our Mapping Stewards and volunteers for assisting us! None of this could have been possible without all of you.