The Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership is transforming street tree beds in Fort Greene & Clinton Hill into informal laboratories through its new initiative, TreED on Myrtle (Tree Education on Myrtle). The Partnership has played a key role in street beautification and economic development initiatives on Myrtle Avenue since its inception in 1999. This spring the organization is forging relationships with the Urban Soil Institute at Brooklyn College, Greenbelt Native Plant Center and engaging with a cohort of young environmentalists from Benjamin Banneker Academy for Community Development High School. Together they are working to significantly improve soil structure in Myrtle Avenue street tree beds through planting a beautiful array of native plant species, with funds from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank. The goal is to create a thriving ecological micro-environment in tree beds that improves long term health of street trees in the district and creates street tree stewards in the process.
Myrtle Avenue’s annual tree bed planting program will convert 40+ tree beds into sidewalk gardens filled with annuals and perennials, planted to match the soil conditions within which they will thrive; the first of three planting days will be Wednesday, May 11th, 2016. There are many challenges in planting in street tree beds as soil conditions are heavily impacted by a hostile environment that sometimes proves prohibitive: car pollution, dogs and people all pose potential threats to the survivability of the plants that they invest in each year.
Over four sessions, beginning on April 13th and ending on May 11th, Banneker students will learn about the conditions of the soil in street tree beds and collect soil samples, conduct soil tests together with the staff at the Urban Soil Institute at Brooklyn College, learn about those native plants suitable for the microclimates and soil conditions created in street tree beds with the staff of the Greenbelt Native Plant Center and join volunteers for a Spring planting day.
TreEd is made possible with funds from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®.