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8 Years of Nyack: Getting Greener

by Marcy Denker

Jen Laird White retires from public office this month after serving eight years on the Nyack Village Board. A lot has changed in her six years as mayor and two years as trustee. The last installment in our 8 Years of Nyack series looks at green accomplishments during this time that have improved the community.

Nyack’s public spaces have been steadily getting greener over the past eight years. Some of the improvements are easy to see, like the parade of begonia baskets that now greet downtown shoppers and the new landscaping at the playground, skatepark and waterfront.

community forest nyack memorial park nyack high school

Memorial Park tree planting, Arbor Day 2014, with Nyack High School students and teacher Tom Perry [kneeling, right]. Photo Credit: Marcy Denker

Existing green spaces are gradually being transformed with native and non-invasive plants. And fifty new trees have been planted along the streets in the past two years, thanks to the efforts of the Nyack Community Tree Project.
Still to come are improvements to Broadway and parts of Franklin Street that have been planned with federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant. New sidewalks, crosswalks and furnishings will make the streets more attractive and safer for everyone. And they’ll give environmental benefits too, thanks to rain gardens, street trees and permeable paving.
Less obvious than the flowers and trees, but just as important are changes in management and policies that have brought cleaner sidewalks, less clutter of signs and posters, and ecological landscape maintenance and design.
The DPW has taken on the maintenance that used to be done by a private contractor, and now several staff members are dedicated to keeping things in good shape. The village has adopted a policy prohibiting the use of gas-powered leaf blowers on public property. Now leaves are mulched-mowed.
With all of the greening that’s underway, a good landscape crew (guided by the ever- watchful Village Assistant Administrator Ann Marie Tltsy),  dedicated volunteers, and financial support from donors, Nyack’s public spaces can keep getting better and better.

Want to stay in the loop about green infrastructure, environmental news and local sustainability initiatives? Read Earth Matters, Nyack News And Views weekly series  that focuses on conservation, sustainability, recycling and healthy living. Sponsored by Maria Luisa Boutique and Strawtown Studio. Sign up for our mailing list and get the next installment delivered right to your inbox.

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