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  • Writer's pictureChristina Delfico

Tiny Forest with Big Impact on Roosevelt Island

Updated: Apr 19

In this interview between Jim Cantore and Stephanie Abrams of The Weather Channel and iDig2Learn founder Christina Delfico on 4/12/24, Christina shares the many benefits of the newly planted Tiny Forest in Roosevelt Island.

"Nature has figured out how to solve big storms and flooding and part of that answer is with good soil and trees - so we've planted over a 1,000 in a very small space here."

Roosevelt Island, a small island in the East River between Manhattan and Queens, faces increased flooding risk from climate change. Tree root systems can help stabilize the soil by absorbing water and preventing run-offs.

So why build pocket forests? Christina shares, "We will start with these pocket forests because New York City and all urban areas don't have a lot of space. [These trees] are in a space smaller than a tennis court. And yes, it will work, and this forest will pop up using this Miyawaki Method of planting baby trees close together - they will share nutrients in their roots and it will pop in 3 years, much faster than traditionally."

The Miyawaki Forest in Roosevelt Island brought together a diverse group of partners, including the SUGi Project, an international organization focused on greening cities; the Lenape Center, a nonprofit organization that continues Lenapehoking, the Lenape homeland through community, culture, and the arts; and Big Reuse, a non-profit organization that operates 2 compost-producing sites using local food scrap waste among other services.

"This traditional method is new to us - We were taught that we spread anything apart. However, if there is no giant mother tree shading out competition, small trees close together can actually share nutrients with their roots, and not compete, but boost each other."

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