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500 New Trees to Be Planted in Greenpoint With Grant Money From Oil Spill

By Serena Dai | December 17, 2014 4:51pm
 McGolrick Park in Greenpoint.
McGolrick Park in Greenpoint.
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MPNA/Evelyn Matechak

GREENPOINT — Greenpoint could soon look a lot shadier — thanks to a plan for hundreds of new trees in the neighborhood.

A project to plant 500 trees as part of an "urban forestry plan" won a nearly $2 million grant from the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Wednesday.

The $19.5 million fund comes from a 2011 settlement that the state made with Exxon Mobil over the company's oil spill in Greenpoint that was discovered in 1978.

The "Greening Greenpoint" tree-planting project, led by the nonprofit City Parks Foundation, is one of six projects to win grant money this year.

The grants will be combined with nearly $24 million in matching contributions from recipients.

Additionally, a plan to make the Greenpoint Library LEED certified and add an outdoor rooftop classroom there won $5 million, and a project developing environmental education in four local schools won $1.4 million.

"Greening Greenpoint" includes a plan to plant trees both in the streets and in local parks, according to the proposal. It also aims to remove up to 25,000 square feet of concrete around 675 existing tree beds, adding 1 acre total of green space to the neighborhood.

Up to 10 high school juniors and seniors will be also be offered an urban and community forestry paid internship as part of the grant, and "tree stewards" from the community and local schools will be trained to take care of the new plantings.

In addition to the GCEF grant, City Parks Foundation and other partners on the project are contributing nearly $2 million.

City Parks was not immediately available for comment. It was unclear when the project would begin implementation.

Other projects that won grant money include a plan to capture, store and treat storm water, an anti-litter project and a waterfront restoration project.

More than 500 residents voted on 13 different projects to choose the winners of the money.

The remaining balance of the fund, $5.5 million, will be distributed next year.