Jersey City Trees Speak Up! Local Artist Anne Percoco and Sustainable JC Launch Stewardship Awareness Campaign on Twitter.
JERSEY CITY, NJ—This summer, the trees of Jersey City are taking to twitter. Environmental artist Anne Percoco is assigning Twitter accounts to Jersey City trees and recruiting residents to tweet, in the first person, from the trees' perspectives. These “tree stories” will start a citywide conversation about expanding and maintaining the City's deficient tree canopy.
This project, produced in partnership with Sustainable Jersey City and numerous volunteers, will be a vehicle for environmental activism, education, and community engagement. The project, which will launch on June 20th, will also help create a tree inventory using OpenTreeMap.org, an open source mapping tool to which the City subscribes. The team's goal is for 50 trees to be tweeting by mid-September.
Creator Anne Percoco shares her vision: “Both poetic and political, TREE SPEECH will form a virtual ecosystem of interconnected, communicative individuals. This will mirror the fact that trees actually do share information and nutrients through an underground fungal network.”
Participants will act as creative collaborators and authors, tweeting tree jokes, quotes, and drawings; updates about trees' health and seasonal changes; and educational information about the benefits of green infrastructure. The #TreeSpeech hashtag will track this dialog.
How to Participate:
To sign up to tweet as a tree, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll send you instructions.
To join the conversation, use and follow the hashtag #TREESPEECH.
Beatrice Cherry Tree @TS_Beatrice, located on 3rd Street and Coles, tweeted:
Aren't you guys tired of this fall weather in May? I know I am! Luckily, a lot of #UrbanBirds find shelter between my leaves...#TreeSpeech
Danny the Tree @Danny_TS1, located on Hutton Street in Jersey City Heights, tweeted:
When I was small these power lines were no problem. Now I'm feeling a little cramped :( #TreeSpeech
Why Does our Tree Canopy Matter?
Urban trees lower temperatures, utility costs, and building emissions substantially. They reduce stormwater runoff by absorbing thousands of gallons of rain each year. They help mitigate climate change impacts naturally and greatly improve our air quality and public health. The Jersey City Environmental Commission's July 2015 Tree Canopy Study recommends that our canopy coverage increase by 30,000 trees as a restorative measure. While local government has committed to planting 2,000 trees in parks over the next 5 years, more is needed and the community must help. TREE SPEECH would like to raise awareness of the dire need to maintain the City’s existing tree inventory and to plant more Street Trees.
Check out the URBAN FORESTRY links available on SJC's Resource page here.
BENEFITS OF TREES
Planting the right trees in the right locations in the right way, will restore our Tree Canopy (now at 17%, should be at 44% !) and provide Green Infrastructure benefits across Jersey City.