Tree-planting campaign part of ‘greening’ effort during UN renovation

16 April 2008 – The United Nations has announced it will plant 150 new trees in and around its New York Headquarters compound, during the landscaping phase of the five-year, $1.9 billion renovation designed to result in a more sustainable, modern, safe and efficient facility.

The Office of the Capital Master Plan (CMP), as the project is known, said the new trees will be planted on the North Lawn as well as in surrounding areas – in coordination with neighbourhood associations – following the completion of the renovation in 2013.

The plan, along with measures to lower energy use and save water, aim at a significant “greening” of the Headquarters compound, the Office stated in a news release.

“One of the primary objectives of the Capital Master Plan is to renovate the facilities, and the grounds, as a model of sustainability for the rest of the UN system, emphasizing the climate change initiatives championed by the Secretary-General,” the Office stated. “These new trees, in the heart of NYC, will reinforce that objective.”

Todd Forrest, Vice President for Horticulture and Living Collections at the New York Botanical Garden, will work with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to assist the UN in selecting the appropriate species and locations to ensure that the proposed tree planting will serve not just as a greening programme, but also an opportunity to increase the diversity of trees in the Turtle Bay area.

Last month, the UN announced it had secured all necessary “swing space” for the temporary relocation of the 5,000 staff members that will be displaced during the overhaul.

Ground breaking for the construction of a temporary venue for international meetings, the most visible piece of the renovation plan, is scheduled for early May.


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