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Rockefeller and Bloomberg Plant $10 Million in MillionTreesNYC

NEW YORK, New York, April 23, 2008 (ENS) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg and David Rockefeller Tuesday announced a joint Earth Day pledge of $10 million to the MillionTreesNYC initiative to plant trees in public spaces, including New York Housing Authority developments and at city schools.

This donation of private funds made to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City by Mr. Rockefeller and Bloomberg Philanthropies will allow over 18,000 trees to be planted throughout the five boroughs.

“I have admired Mike Bloomberg for a long time. He has been a great Mayor,” said Rockefeller. “I called him a few months ago and asked him if there was a project we might work on together that would benefit the city we both love. We decided the MillionTreesNYC initiative would be a wonderful collaboration given my family’s interest in the environment and the Mayor’s efforts to ensure a better quality of life for all New Yorkers.”

Mayor Bloomberg said, “I am honored to stand with a great New Yorker, and a great American, David Rockefeller to make this donation. His generosity has inspired my matching donation, and I hope it inspires more residents, corporations and foundations to get involved, whether by purchasing a tree in someone’s honor, participating in one of the many volunteer planting days, or by adding a tree in your own front yard.”


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, at podium left,
and philanthropist David Rockefeller
announce their gift to MillionTreesNYC.
(Photo courtesy Office of the Mayor)

At the announcement, held at NYCHA’s Jefferson Houses, Bloomberg and Rockefeller planted a rosebud tree with children from the city’s Thomas Jefferson Recreation Center.

“We can all dig in and help make New York a greener, greater city,” the mayor said.

The gift means that all nine housing developments in East Harlem operated by the New York Housing Authority, NYHA, will be fully planted ahead of schedule and by the close of this year’s tree planting season.

The gift also will be used to help fund a new job training effort, the MillionTreesNYC Apprenticeship program, which will connect city youth to the numerous “green collar” jobs that PlaNYC is creating.

MillionTreesNYC is a public-private campaign to plant and care for one million trees over a decade and a component of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative to make New York City more sustainable.

Jobs related to tree planting and care are currently in high demand as a result of MillionTreesNYC, and the Apprenticeship Program aims to provide the skills that young people need to attract career opportunities.

The target population for the program, what the city calls “disconnected youth aged 18-24,” has been identified by the Center for Economic Opportunity as particularly in need of marketable employment skills.

The program will include these city residents, particularly residents of New York Housing Authority buildings, for training in jobs that involve the planting, pruning and stewardship of the newly planted trees.

The MillionTreesNYC Apprenticeship will be administered by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, in conjunction with other city agencies and nonprofit and community partners.

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