The Town of Hempstead received a $25,000 grant from Nassau County to plant trees in Barnum Island, replacing trees lost during superstorm Sandy.
Barnum Island was one of many communities on Long Island left with extensive damage after superstorm Sandy in 2012. A plan to rebuild marshes and beaches in Barnum Island and surrounding towns was developed by the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plan.
“The Town of Hempstead lost over 1,000 trees in the immediate aftermath of superstorm Sandy, but we continue to lose trees, especially around Island Park and Barnum Island, due to the prolonged saltwater exposure during the storm,” Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen said.
The budget to plant trees comes out of Nassau County’s Community Revitalization Program.
The town’s engineers estimate that between 90 and 100 trees will be planted, and that planting will begin as early as spring and will be done before the end of the year, Gillen said.
“The positive economic, environmental and health benefits of having more trees in the Town of Hempstead is a triple play for taxpayers,” Gillen said. “They are proven to enhance economic stability by attracting more business, and improving both our overall water and air quality.”
Hempstead Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, whose district includes Barnum Island, said, “These trees, which are part two of a revitalization plan that has already resulted in many new trees in Harbor Isle, will go a long way to bringing back some of the natural beauty of these two great communities.”
In neighboring Long Beach, the town unveiled a $1.5 million project to replant trees lost to Sandy in 2015. The project was entirely funded by grants, including $75,000 from actor Billy Crystal, who grew up in Long Beach, money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and city funding. The city planted around 1,900 trees.
Long Beach planted 150 more trees in 2016 during the city’s second phase of tree replacement.