On Thursday dozens of volunteers came to Van Cortlandt Park to plant 1,000 new trees as part of the Million Trees Program. Part of the group were several New York Knick team cheerleaders, and former players John Starks and Larry Johnson. as you will see in the photos below holes were set up for the saplings that sat in pots to be planted. The volunteers were given gloves and shovels, instructed on how deep to dig, and how to remove the excess dirt from the emerging tree roots so they would be able to grow. One thing I noticed was that dozens of tree saplings were being planted almost next to each other, and I asked why they were being planted so close together. The answer I got was that some of the saplings will die off for one reason or another, grouping them tightly will produce more shade and density to keep out evasive vines (that were removed from some of the older trees), and it is better for the park population to have a dense forest area.
There were some old trees that had fallen for one reason or another that were being left to become part of the eco-system for insects, birds, and small animals to live in and off of. The dead tree would also become mulch after time again good for the soil.
Right - The New York Knick organization was well represented along with the new VCP Park manager on the far right.
Left - The Knick Cheerleaders may have looked pretty, but they soon got down to work as you will see.
Right - A few of the 1,000 new trees to be planted in Van Cortlandt Park.
Left - The Knick Cheerleaders each took a shovel and started digging.
Right - The girls are given instructions on how to place the sapling into the ground.
Left- Knick star John Starks guides his sapling into the hole he dug. Knick player Larry Johnson tells him how to do it as might have been the case on the basketball court.
Right - You can see several saplings that were planted in front of this large tree that came down during Hurricane Sandy.