Last summer, ReTree Schenectady, the City of Schenectady, Schenectady County, Community Fathers, and the Schenectady Job Training Agency collaborated to plant 50 trees in environmental justice focus areas. Trees were planted by a small group of youth who were employed through Schenectady County Summer Youth Employment Program. They were led by Kenneth Brooks of OIOI (Occupations Instead of Incarceration), which is part of Community Fathers.
Funds for trees were provided through a grant from National Grid in response to an October 2020 derecho (sustained windstorm) that felled a lot of trees in Schenectady. ReTree Schenectady coordinated tree selection and delivery and provided instruction on planting, pruning, and maintenance.
ReTree Schenectady President Betsy Henry says, “We were particularly excited about the collaboration this planting season, because it relied on community engagement and focused on neighborhoods where trees are sparse.”
The City of Schenectady has also received an Urban and Community Forestry Grant of $61,200 from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) for a city-wide tree inventory and tree management plan. This will assist in improving the urban forest with comprehensive planning to identify and assess both existing trees and open planting sites.
Thank you to ReTree Schenectady and Betsy Henry for supplying photos and text for this post. You can read the City of Schenectady’s full press release about this year’s collaborative tree planting here.🌳