Trees in Shoelace park

Trees North Bronx

The Bronx River Alliance with the Mosholu Preservation Corporation just hired two mentors who would supervise 10 teens during the Summer Youth Employment Program. High schools students will be weeding, maintaining urban forests, planting, and protecting riverbanks from erosion in Shoelace Park and Fort Knox. Today BxRA conservation crew members, youth mentors, and I went to see plots where this program will take place beginning this week.

When we came to Shoelace Park near 219th street, we noticed that something very sad happened with trees, which BxRA planted near the Bronx River a few days ago. All twenty or thirty young trees and shrubs on this plot were pulled out by somebody, and some of them were found dead near the edge of the water. Donovan Goulbourne, a Conservation Crew Member on the photo above, shows one of the vandalized trees. I don’t know the cause of vandalism; maybe it is the absence of the fence around plots with new trees to protect plants from people who do not appreciate them. We also know that local adult residents or their children were not involved in this particular tree planting event, so maybe some of them did not develop a sense of ownership of these trees, not sure. The Summer Youth Employment Program, however, gives a hope that some young people will become more connected to this public land, and will become more responsible citizens protecting their environment in the future.

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