chapter  1
16 Pages

Urban environmental stewardship and civic engagement

My husband told us not to go. The local news reporters were talking endlessly about the coming storm. People were waiting in lines, buying water, batteries, and bottles of wine and preparing for what appeared to be inevitable: Hurricane Sandy would hit the New York City area on October 29, in less than 48 hours. Nonetheless, the city-wide tree planting event that was part of the MillionTreesNYC initiative was still on. At 8 a.m. that Sunday morning, my youngest son, Kieran, and I drove the 19 miles from Brooklyn to Queens to plant trees along the waterfront of Fort Totten, a former US Army installation on a point in Little Neck Bay where the East River meets the Long Island Sound. In some way, I felt the excitement of “storm chasing,” albeit the only thing I was in danger of at that time was distracted drivers on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.