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The Great New York Tree Census

Inside access to a huge volunteer effort underway in New York City to account for the condition of an estimated 600,000 street trees—where every single one of the city's trees counts.
August 4, 2015, 8am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"For the first time ever, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation is working with thousands of volunteers to measure and map every single street tree on every single block in every single neighborhood in all five boroughs of the city," reports Philip Silva.

The article provides an in-depth look at the mechanics of the effort, dubbed TreesCount! 2015, which has ambitiously deployed 5,000 volunteers (so far) for "old fashioned site-surveying techniques." That means, according to SIlva: "No GPS. No Google Street View. No satellite imagery. Just a $90 measuring wheel, a plastic tape measure, and a meticulously designed data logging website filled to the brim with sophisticated geometry, cartography, and code."

The effort has already mapped 100,000 of the estimated 600,000 trees that call New York City home since it launched in May.

Also explained by Silva is the larger purpose of the census, namely: "NYC Parks, the department that oversees street trees in the Big Apple, wants to know what kinds of challenges each tree is facing and how much effort neighborhood volunteers are putting into keeping trees alive."

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, August 2, 2015 in The Nature of Cities
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