Contact: Frank Zeoli, Deputy Commissioner
ALBANY, NY – Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and DGS Commissioner Sergio Panunzio joined 1st Ward Councilmember Sonia Frederick, Albany County Legislature Chairman Andrew Joyce, Charles Touhey, and representatives from the Downtown Business Improvement District, Central Avenue Business Improvement District, Albany Housing Authority, Albany Parking Authority, Assemblymember Pat Fahy’s office, and the New York League of Conservation Voters to plant the 1,000th new tree in Albany since the initiative began in the Fall of 2020.
Since the Fall of 2020, the City of Albany has focused tree planting in Wards and neighborhoods where the urban forest is most at risk, including in the South End, Arbor Hill, West Hill, and Pine Hills neighborhoods. More than 50% of the 1,000 trees planted since the Fall of 2020 have been planted in these neighborhoods alone.
Of the 1,000 new trees, 63% are planted as part of street and sidewalk revitalization projects, 25% are planted solely to enhance the urban forest, and 12% are planted through the Adopt-A-Tree program. The three most commonly planted trees as chosen by residents are the Accolade Cherry, the Eastern Redbud, and the Japanese Tree Lilac.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “My administration has invested more than $40 million in street and sidewalk revitalization since taking office, however we know we must invest even more to ensure our streets are in optimal condition. These three new initiatives will not only help us strengthen our investments in streets but also help extend the life of our newly revitalized infrastructure and help protect the environment. Thank you to Commissioner Panunzio and the Department of General Services for engaging in these innovative solutions to decades-long problems.”
Department of General Services Commissioner Sergio Panunzio said, "This initiative is connecting individuals and businesses with the opportunity to adopt a tree, nurture it and watch it grow for many years to come. I am proud we have already planted our 1,000th new tree, and I am confident with the help of the Albany community we can re-populate our urban forest.”
1st Ward Common Councilmember Sonia Frederick said, “I am thrilled that the 1,000th tree is being planted at Krank Park in the South End. Our neighborhood has been historically under-forested, and I look forward to the continued tree increase that we will see in the future. Thank you to Mayor Kathy Sheehan and the Department of General Services, who have greatly surpassed timing expectations for 2025 tree initiative.”
Georgette Steffens, Executive Director of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District said, "The BID is thrilled to be a partner with the City on their mission to add thousands of trees to the City streetscape. Trees in urban locations are imperative as they help to improve air quality, absorb traffic noise, and reduce stormwater runoff, all while building neighborhood and civic pride. Thank you to Mayor Sheehan for your vision in bringing this strategic initiative to fruition."
Anthony Capece, Executive Director of the Central Avenue Business Improvement District said, “The planting thus far, of 1000 trees in Albany, is a milestone that deserves recognition. The success in this ongoing effort shows a commitment & respect for not only the people in the city today, but in the future of the quality of life and for the residence of this city for years to come."
Chiquita D’Arbeau, Executive Director of the Albany Housing Authority said, “The Albany Housing Authority is proud to continue to partner with the City of Albany and Mayor Sheehan on the 2025 Trees Program. The planting of the 1,000th tree at Krank Park and the progress of this program not only adds beauty and vibrancy to the city but …symbolizes the continued growth and vitality of the community.”
Matthew Peter, Executive Director of the Albany Parking Authority said, “Trees add a vibrancy to the City. The deforestation of the urban forest in some neighborhoods has been incredibly detrimental. It is why I’m so proud that the Albany Parking Authority has partnered with the City, under the leadership of the Mayor, to plant thousands of trees throughout the City. I want to congratulate the Mayor and DGS on the planting of their 1,000th tree, well on their way to hitting the goal of 2,025 new trees by 2025.”
Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters said, “We’re thrilled to see the City of Albany prioritizing their urban forest by announcing the new 2025 Trees initiative. The health of our trees is directly related to creating sustainable communities, and by planting 2,025 new trees by the year 2025, the City of Albany will help make a healthier, greener Albany. The New York League of Conservation Voters applauds Mayor Kathy Sheehan for this commitment.”