Trees on Liberty Beautification Project


In April 2016, the City of Newburgh was awarded a TD Green Streets grant from TD Bank and the Arbor Day Foundation. The $20,000 grant provides for twenty-seven trees on Liberty Street, in historic Washington Heights, supports community education on the importance and care of trees, and provides a new water truck that can be used throughout the city for tree and plant care. The grant was submitted by the Conservation Advisory Council, CAC, of the City of Newburgh.

The project, known as TREES ON LIBERTY, was submitted by CAC members Kippy Boyle and Deborah Dresser. The project is partnering with Newburgh Heights Association, NHA, a not-for-profit organization.  “There was no question,” states Hannah Brooks, Heights resident and President of the NHA. “This project reflects our commitment to Newburgh and the forward-thinking community in the Heights.”  Originally planned to be executed in the spring of this year, the tree planting was delayed to late September due to major gas line repairs in the Heights and a city water restriction. “The delay actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise,” says CAC member, urban gardener, and recently retired Episcopal pastor, Deborah Dresser. “Fall is really the good time for tree planting—there is enough time for the tree roots to become established, and the cooler temperatures are much less stressful on the trees.”

Devitt’s Nursery and Supply, N.W. will be planting and mulching five tall shade trees and twenty-two low growing ornamental flowering trees that will not be compromised by utility wires, thus reducing the need for major trimming, which has severely damaged over ten trees on Liberty Street. Those trees have been removed making way for the new, healthier trees.

The trees are essential for healthy neighborhoods as they absorb overflow of rainwater, provide beauty and clean the air. Statistics also show that tree-lined streets reduce crime.

October 15th the residents of Washington Heights and friends city-wide will celebrate the successful conclusion of TREES ON LIBERTY with a street party to include: food, fun for kids, demonstrations on the care of trees and bulbs, and much more.  Representatives from TD Bank as well as from our city government will be on hand to help plant the last two trees on Liberty Street.

“Applying for and obtaining the TD Bank grant, and bringing the TREES ON LIBERTY Street project to fruition, exemplifies Newburgh’s citizens’ continuing efforts to celebrate and improve sustainability through real, grassroots civic action,” said City Manager Michael Ciaravino. “I cannot thank the CAC, the NHA and all the Heights neighbors enough. Through this project, they will engage residents, especially children, to create local environmental and educational change that is, above all, an enduring change for Newburgh.”

The TD Bank awards Green Streets Grants to help municipalities enhance green spaces with urban forestry.  It is a component of TD Forests, the bank’s North American initiative to help protect critical forest habitats equal to the amount of paper the bank uses each year.

The Trees on Liberty highlights:

  • Sept 22 the Newburgh Heights Association will hold a SPECIAL meeting at Congregational Church on the corner of Liberty and Courtney Streets at 7pm to review the project. ALL Interested Heights residents are welcome!
  • Oct 15, 2-4pm the Newburgh Heights Association members will sponsor a BLOCK PARTY to celebrate the planting of the last two trees! Everyone welcome for food, fun, workshops!

Contact:  Deborah Dresser,  845 568 5995,