Hattie Carthan in 1978; photo from the New York Public Library.

An African American Tree Activist Lived in Brooklyn

Washington Square Park Eco Projects Director Georgia Silvera Seamans posted this story on the Brooklyn Botanic Garden blog about Hattie Carthan (1900-1984). Silvera Seamans writes, “[Carthan] is credited with starting the City’s tree matching program in 1966. If a block association planted four trees, then the Parks Department would plant six more. Carthan’s organizing acumen and charisma grew the Bedford-Stuyvesant Beautification Association, a group of 100 block associations that planted ginkgo, sycamore, honey locust, and elm trees in the community. You can still see some of these legacy trees in the neighborhood.” Read more about the legacy of Hattie Carthan’s work–and the need for funds to protect the Magnolia Tree Earth Center that Carthan founded–in this BBG blog post.

The Magnolia Tree Earth Center, pictured in 2009. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.