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Ridgewood civic leaders release survey identifying 2,400 locations where trees should be planted

Mar. 15, 2024 By Anthony Medina

A group of Ridgewood civic leaders have conducted a tree-planting survey and have identified nearly 2,400 locations in the neighborhood where additional trees should be planted.

The results of the tree-planning survey—put together by Paul Kerzner, Luis Rodriguez, and Ted Renz—were delivered to Council Member Robert Holden earlier this week, with a tree-planting project expected to take place over the next two years.

The survey results come at a time when Holden has been pushing for tree-planting initiatives.

from left to right: Ted Renz, Paul Kerzner, Council Member Robert Holden, and Luis Rodriguez, at the Maspeth district office of Councilman Holden passing over a new tree planting survey for Ridgewood.Photo courtesy the office of Council Member Robert Holden

“Trees are incredibly important for our communities, offering numerous environmental and health benefits, and beautifying our neighborhoods,” Holden said, who has advocated for such initiatives since he was president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, a position he held before taking office. “Identifying appropriate locations for tree plantings is a monumental task that requires meticulous planning and dedication.”

The new tree-planting survey was spearheaded by Paul Kerzner, who has been an advocate for planting trees in Ridgewood for decades. Kerzner recalls seeing neighbors rush indoors for shade during the summer, when there were much fewer trees and tall buildings dominated the skyline.

“Ridgewood needs trees, believe me,” Kerzner says.

Kerzner, 73, is widely viewed as being responsible for bringing thousands of trees to Ridgewood since he started a tree planting initiative in 1971. He says he has raised close to $70,000 with the help of donors as part of the initiative over the years.

Kerzner says this survey is his last push to ensure Ridgewood has the trees it needs. He said the survey is the biggest to date with every block in Ridgewood analyzed for potential tree locations.

Ted Renz, the executive director of the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District, contributed to the survey and added 200 potential locations to the list, Kerzner told QNS.

The survey also includes locations for potential tree plantings in areas where trees have been removed or need replacing.

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