Branch out and help the Parks Department count the city’s street trees

nyc street trees

First test: How many trees are in this picture. via Flickr user David Thompson

You might recall a couple weeks ago when we alerted you to the city’s need for volunteers to count garbage floating in the ocean off our beaches. Maybe it appealed to your love of counting, but you’d like to count something a little more vibrant. You’ve got that shot now, because the Parks Department is looking for volunteers to count all of the city’s street trees.

It’s time for TreesCount! 2015, and if you don’t think that the act of counting and mapping the sidewalk trees in the city deserves an exclamation point, maybe this isn’t the volunteer opportunity for you. You should think about it though, because when you look at all the things that trees do for us (provide shade, cleaner air, look pretty) without asking for anything in return, it seems the least we can do is see if there’s been an increase or decrease in their population since the last TreesCount! in 2005.

To be a “voluntreer,” as the Parks Department calls you, you’ll have to register and then take an online and an IRL training session. After you’re armed with the knowledge of how to identify trees and properly map them, you’ll be able to either join up with neighborhood groups that get together at mapping events, or even set out on your own as a solo tree-counting desperado. If you go solo, just make sure you don’t step on other people’s turf if you’re not supposed to be there, wouldn’t want to start a tree war (or double count).

Signing up for our weekly newsletter is a bit easier than volunteering to count trees, though