In the News

NYRP In the News 

Explore media coverage featuring NYRP. Access press releases announcing our unique initiatives and programs that strengthen communities citywide.

NYRP staff includes experts in the fields of horticulture, landscape architecture, education, community engagement, and more.

For media inquiries, contact Leah Silver at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 212-333-2552.

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Bette Midler & the New York Restoration Project: Bette’s Bet on New York

Rodale Wellness
When singer and actress Bette Midler moved to New York from Los Angeles in 1995, she was horrified by the littered landscape. As a result, she founded the successful, hands-on urban New York Restoration Project (NYRP) to revitalize neglected green spaces.

Two decades later, NYRP has restored 52 community gardens in underserved communities across the five boroughs and redesigned nearly half of them, enlisting residents in all phases of the work—from design to ongoing maintenance. Its most recent success story: In fall 2015, NYRP reached its goal of planting one million trees in New York City, in a collaborative project with NYC Parks, two years ahead of schedule. As a result, Mayor Bill de Blasio committed to planting an additional 50,000 trees across the city over the next three years.

Thanks to Bette Midler, New York Plants a Tremendous Number of Trees

Architectural Digest
With a nickname like the Big Apple, is it any surprise that New York has pulled off this botanical feat? The MillionTreesNYC program, a partnership between the nonprofit New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, has reached its goal of planting one million trees throughout the five boroughs. Founded in 1995 by entertainer Bette Midler, NYRP operates with a mission to improve open spaces within underserved communities. In 2007, Midler was standing with then-mayor Michael Bloomberg along the Harlem River, celebrating NYRP’s planting of 600 cherry and crabapple trees, when she exclaimed, “Why should we stop here? We should plant one million!”

How 1 Million Trees Can Change a City

Next City
A year after I moved away from Brooklyn, my former roommate sent a picture of our changing neighborhood. Not of the swank coffee shop that replaced the corner bodega, nor any of the dark bars creeping into Bushwick. Mallika sent a picture of a spindly young elm: a street tree the city had just planted at the base of our stoop. She was thrilled.

The little elm was just one in a row of saplings stretching down the block, and the block just one of thousands in the city to receive new street trees in the last eight years through MillionTreesNYC.

A collaboration between New York City’s parks department and conservation nonprofit New York Restoration Project (NYRP), the initiative just succeeded in planting 1 million new trees in the city this decade. The final tree was planted last month, two years ahead of schedule. While cities like Los Angeles, Boston and Denver have all set the same goal, New York is the first to meet it.

WNYC: Coverage of Millionth Tree Planting

After completing the MillionTreesNYC initiative two years ahead of schedule Mayor de Blasio is committing to the planting of 50,000 more trees over the next 3 years.

At a celebration event today he praised the millionth tree achievement, but said the city must continue the further beautify the city and protect the health of residents.

“We intend to and we will achieve the goal of having the cleanest air of any big city in this country.”

The program was launched by the city in partnership with the New York Restoration Project in 2007 under Mayor Bloomberg and continued under de Blasio.

De Blasio and Bloomberg make nice for tree planting ceremony

Politico New York
They may be far apart in politics and rhetoric, but when it comes to trees, Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Mike Bloomberg appeared almost friendly Friday.

De Blasio, who spent much of his first year in office blaming his predecessor for various ills plaguing the city, was all smiles and compliments at an event with the former mayor in South Bronx marking the planting of one million trees over the past eight years in New York City — a Bloomberg administration initiative that was completed two years ahead of schedule.

"The visionary stands to my right in a stylish yellow sweater," de Blasio said. "The visionary was Michael Bloomberg and I'm here to give him a lot of credit."

De Blasio, Bloomberg Share a Few Laughs at Tree Planting

The Wall Street Journal
It took eight years and more than one million trees to get them there, but as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg planted an American linden together Friday in the Bronx, they were all smiles.

“The visionary stands to my right, in the stylish yellow sweater,” Mr. de Blasio said of Mr. Bloomberg.

The pair celebrated an initiative to plant one million trees across the city, a project started by Mr. Bloomberg and singer-actress Bette Midler that has continued under Mr. de Blasio. The public-private initiative, which began in 2007 in conjunction with New York Restoration Project, has increased the number of trees in the city by 20%.

Bette Midler and Michael Kors Help Celebrate Hulaween

The New York Times
Bette Midler shared the stage with Nile Rodgers and Jerry Barns during her annual Hulaween Party on Friday night. The party benefited the New York Restoration Project, which celebrated its 20th year of helping plant community gardens and other green spaces.

Greening the Big Apple: New York plants millionth tree ahead of schedule

The Guardian
A million trees
As we’ve discussed before, urban trees have a number of environmental, social, health – and even economic – benefits. So it’s positive to hear, from Fast Co Exist, that the goal of New York’s MillionTreesNYC campaign, to plant a million new trees in a decade, has been achieved two years ahead of schedule.

As Adele Peters writes: “While the city planted the majority of the trees (750,000) in parks and along streets, the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) filled in the gaps on other public land – places like housing projects, libraries, airports, churches and synagogues, and hospitals. They also gave away trees to anyone with a yard who wanted one.”

Impressive stuff – though as usual looks like London is trying to go one (million) better than New York, with mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan promising to plant 2m trees should he be elected.

Looking Up

New York Social Diary
Moving along. Last Thursday, Andrew and Ann Tisch hosted a special reception for Bette Midler’s Restoration Project to celebrate the culmination of MillionTreesNYC, a public-private partnership between New York City Parks and Ms. Midler’s New York Restoration Project which one 1 million trees have been planted and cared for throughout the five boroughs.

Bette Midler on Her Star-Studded Halloween Party
All bow down to the Queen of Halloween, Bette Midler.

Not only did Midler bring the wickedly funny Winifred to life in 1993's Hocus Pocus, but she's also been at the helm of her own star-studded Halloween party for 20 years now. This year, she's bringing a "Hell Night of Hulaween Island" theme to New York City's famed Waldorf Astoria – and you're invited.

"It's going to be weird," Midler, 69, tells PEOPLE of the famed bash, which will include performances by Nile Rodgers and Chic. "I don't know what's going to happen this year."
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Mayor de Blasio Celebrates One Millionth Tree with Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Bette Midler…

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today joined NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and New York Restoration Project’s Bette Midler to celebrate the planting of the one millionth tree of the MillionTreesNYC initiative two years ahead of schedule and encourage all New Yorkers to make a pledge to adopt and care for trees in their communities. The Mayor planted tree number 1,017,634, an American linden, at Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx. At the event, Mayor de Blasio was also joined by NYRP Executive Director Deborah Marton, elected officials, third graders from PS35 Franz Siegel, and dedicated volunteers.


NEW YORK, NY, September 2015 – This fall, New York Restoration Project (NYRP) will give away 3,000 trees at 22 events across New York City. NYRP, supported by TD Bank, has partnered with 14 local community organizations throughout the five boroughs for the giveaway events.


THE BRONX, NY, JULY 8, 2015 – Today, New York Restoration Project (NYRP) unveiled a transformative master plan to design, build, and fund a new network of connected open spaces that will improve quality of life and deliver measurable health benefits for South Bronx residents with parks, tree-lined streets, public art, bike lanes, and waterfront access.

NYRP and Bronx Museum Team Up to Bring Second Annual, Free Arts in the Gardens to Bronx Gardens

New York, NY, May 2015 – New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and The Bronx Museum of the Arts are partnering for the second year to present a season of free arts programming in three NYRP community gardens in the Tremont, Mott Haven and Highbridge neighborhoods of the Bronx. With the goal of raising awareness and further activating NYRP’s wider network of public green spaces, the Arts in the Gardens series will bring communities together to enjoy performing arts in a natural, outdoor setting. From June through August, the event series will feature a mixed line-up of family-friendly events, including movie night series; hip-hop, music, and break-dancing performances; ice cream socials; poetry readings; mural installation, and more.

NYRP and BAM Team Up to Bring Second Annual, Free Arts in the Gardens to Brooklyn Community Gardens

New York, NY, May 2015 – New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) are partnering for the second year to present a season of free arts programming in four NYRP community gardens in Bed-Stuy and Gowanus, Brooklyn. With the goal of raising awareness and further activating NYRP’s wider network of public green spaces, the Arts in the Gardens series will bring communities together to enjoy performing arts in a natural, outdoor setting. From June through September, the event series will feature a mixed line-up of family-friendly events, including a movie night series paying tribute to the late Brooklyn-bred leading lady Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart; dance and music performances; story-crafting workshops; a month-long art installation; and more.

New York Restoration Project to Plant 825 Trees in the South Bronx

Starting this month, the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) will plant the first of 825 trees as part of a large-scale tree planting and maintenance project in the South Bronx.

MillionTreesNYC Launches 15th Season of Tree Giveaways

As part of MillionTreesNYC, the initiative of planting and caring for one million new trees in New York City, New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is launching the 15th season of the country’s largest municipal tree giveaway program. Thanks to support from lead sponsors, TD Bank and Toyota, and supporting sponsor, JetBlue, NYRP is partnering with 62 local community organizations to host 65 giveaways throughout all five boroughs to give out 8,750 trees. From March through May, New Yorkers can attend a giveaway to pick up a tree to plant in their front or back yards, gardens or commercial property.


On Friday, October 31, the Waldorf-Astoria on Park Avenue was transformed into a center of ghostly, ghastly and ghoulish delights as Bette Midler presented New York Restoration Project’s (NYRP) 19th Annual Hulaween Gala. Hosted by two-time Emmy winner Judy Gold, with a costume contest judged by fashion icon Michael Kors, and a performance by the legendary Earth, Wind & Fire, guests were invited to unleash their imaginations for the costume party of the year – and the biggest annual fundraiser for NYRP.

NYRP Partners with TD Bank to Plant Trees throughout NYC’s Five Boroughs

October 1, 2014 – New York City, NY – New York Restoration Project (NYRP) staff and volunteers will be joined by employees from TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, across New York City to participate in TD Tree Days, a cooperative effort to plant new trees in local communities in need.

NYRP Celebrates Renovation of La Casita Community Garden in East Harlem

NYRP is celebrating the completed renovation of its La Casita Community Garden in East Harlem. Accompanied by NYRP Founder Bette Midler, Executive Director, Deborah Marton, representatives from the garden sponsor, The Geraldine Stutz Trust, local community members, and elected officials, NYRP will officiate a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the grand opening of the public garden. The renovation, which includes a raised stage for performances; a chalkboard and projection screen for educational activities; added seating to the front and back to accommodate visitors, and more, will enhance the space as a community resource. As one of nine NYRP community gardens in a network of green spaces in East Harlem, La Casita will strengthen the social and environmental resilience in this area.
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