The MillionTreesNYC initiative

New York City is now home to 1 million new trees

The streets are a lot greener and the air is a lot cleaner than it was 8 years ago.

By: Matt Hickman

Design devotee blogs about cities, innovation and architecture.

NYC

Eight years after conception, the arboreal love child of Michael Bloomberg and Bette Midler comes to full bloom. (Photo: Philip Bulsink/flickr)

While New York City lags behind other major cities in tackling certain key sustainability issues such as recycling and waste reduction, the Big Apple has proven itself to be a zippy trailblazer when it comes to ambitious public tree-planting schemes.

Two years ahead of schedule, the city has reached the 999,999 mark in its heralded MillionTreesNYC initiative. Launched in 2007 as a joint effort between the administration of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bette “the Wind Beneath My Leaves” Midler’s city beautification nonprofit, the New York Restoration Project, the citywide tree-planting effort was supposed to roll out over a 10-year period and conclude in 2017. But in a lovely — and somewhat uncharacteristic — twist, MillionTreesNYC is on the verge of achieving the big sextuple “O” earlier than anticipated. Read more.