On Tuesday, about 75 volunteers descended on Prospect Park to help to keep the park green and clean in observation of Earth Day.

The annual day of green action” was organized by National Grid in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance and the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. 

“Prospect Park Alliance believes that Earth Day is a wonderful opportunity to come together to make a true environmental impact,” said Sue Donoghue, president of the Prospect Park Alliance.

Volunteers got busy with sanding and painting park fencing and benches, weeding, pruning and cleaning up tree beds. New York State Senator Kevin Parker helped kick off the Earth Day event, delivering remarks and presenting the volunteers with a proclamation for their commitment to stewardship.

Senator Kevin Parker with volunteers. Photo courtesy Office of State Senator Kevin Parker

“As the chair of the Senate’s Energy and Telecommunications Committee I am proud to see National Grid and their employees understand the importance of protecting the environment and maintaining local landmarks such as Prospect Park,” said Parker.

Parker stated what Brooklyn treehuggers already have known for a long time: Prospect Park is an arboreal wonderland that yields enormous economic, environmental and health benefits for the borough and beyond. 

Photo courtesy National Grid

According to a 2018 survey, Prospect Park’s trees remove 24,000 pounds of pollutants from the air each year, valued at $125,000, as well as 3,000 tons of Greenhouse gas, valued at $17,000. The park’s ecosystem also helps to save 21 million gallons of water from the city’s sewer system through its soil, a natural stormwater runoff benefit that was valued at $172,000 annually.

“This survey clearly reinforces just how precious Prospect Park as a resource is, and how we must all do our part to care for it,” said Donoghue last fall.

The study also shed light on the challenges the trees face. While the overall condition of the trees were rated fair, 8 percents of the inventoried trees showed stress caused by humans. So a little TLC for Brooklyn’s largest park was certainly much appreciated, according to Donoghue.

“National Grid’s volunteers came out in full force, helping to beautify and maintain Prospect Park. The Alliance is extremely grateful for this important work, as we rely on help from our partners to keep this treasured resource vital and green for all,” said Donoghue.

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