In partnership with American Forests and Nice-Pak Products, the Nyack Tree Committee planted 34 trees and 117 shrubs in downtown Nyack, New York in spring 2022. The planting sites were chosen to improve human health, manage stormwater, and boost recreation opportunities. Nyack has significantly higher asthma rates than surrounding areas, disproportionately impacting youth and under-resourced communities. Downtown Nyack has also experienced substantial damage due to flooding. This project kicks off a five-year effort to plant street trees in the Village of Nyack’s most densely populated areas, with an emphasis on replacing impervious surfaces with trees.
The trees planted along streets, sidewalks, and next to transit hubs encourage walking and exercise for residents, commuters, and shoppers by providing shade, buffering noise and air pollution, and lowering street temperatures in these high traffic areas. Located adjacent to Nyack Head Start Preschool, Nyack Senior Center, and public housing, trees will also improve air quality and provide thermal refuge for vulnerable populations. To improve climate resilience and mitigate stormwater runoff, planting sites were selected strategically along streets that have flooded in the past, as well as on the west side of buildings to reduce energy needs for heating and cooling.
This project supports a long-term goal to create a green pedestrian corridor through the center of town, linking uphill and high-density downtown neighborhoods to the waterfront marina and park. This will provide residents throughout the Village with a more welcoming path to parks and green space, enhancing opportunities for the community to come together for recreation, play, and exercise.
Check out a snapshot of the project: Impact Report Summary
Every tree planting project demonstrates impacts that create a more just and sustainable future.
Urban Heat - 12
Active Living - 10
Wellness & Mental Health - 2
Social Health - 6
Site Selection - 5
Community Engagement in Design - 0
Community Participation in Implementation - 3
Economic Equity - 1
Climate Action - 13
Water Quality & Quantity - 5
Habitat, Food & Wood Production - 0
Bioremediation - 0
The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs are a global call for action. These goals have the power to build a better future for everyone. Investment in this impact project drives action towards the following goals.
Trees were planted along streets, parking lots, and transit hubs to screen residents and pedestrians from particulate sources of pollution. By increasing shade and lowering street temperatures in downtown areas, trees planted also encourage walking and exercise and improve connections to community gathering places like Veterans Park.
Trees were selected for local hardiness, with priority to species adapted to flooding and drought. Trees were planted in parts of downtown with low tree canopy and a high proportion of impervious surface to improve stormwater management, reduce runoff, and mitigate flooding in downtown Nyack.
Investments in urban forests and other green infrastructure add significantly to green economic growth. Nyack Tree Committee sourced trees and other project materials from local businesses.
Urban trees can mitigate many negative aspects of the built environment, but tree canopy is often inequitably distributed. Planting locations for this project were selected to address the low tree canopy and reduce disparaties in downtown Nyack, which consists of a mix of commercial and high-density, lower-income residential uses.
Urban forests provide ecosystem services that conserve resources, mitigate climate change and natural disasters, and improve the livability of cities. Trees planted along streets, transit hubs, and parking lots in downtown Nyack will promote recreation and an active lifestyle, filter air and provide buffer along downtown roads, improve stormwater management, and reduce building energy use.
Trees lower cooling costs by reducing regional air temperatures and providing shade. They also act as a buffer against cold winds that strip away heat, thereby providing savings on the fuel needed to heat buildings. Trees were strategically planted along the west side of buildings on Catherine and Washington Streets to provide optimum shade and wind protection for reduced energy use.
The project will deliver local climate action through air quality improvements, stormwater runoff mitigation, cooling relief in hot temperatures, and energy savings.
Well-maintained Urban forests help create and enhance habitat and constitute a pool of biodiversity. Trees planted will provide food and habitat for birds and small mammals. Long-term, trees will be maintained through the Nyack Tree Committee’s Nyack Tree Project, which recruits and trains community tree stewards to provide tree care and maintenance.
Partnerships were a critical part of the success of this project, which was a collaborative effort between Nyack Tree Committee, Nice-Pak Products, American Forests, and the Village Department of Public Works. Trained community tree stewards will also maintain the trees long term, cementing the connection between the trees and the community.