After just one week, three Myrtle tree guards and one Myrtle bench are fully adopted! Thank you to our generous neighbors, whose donations will be recognized via bench plaques and tree guard signage. Adopt-A-Bench and Adopt-A-TreeGuard funds will go toward 5 years of caring for Myrtle's new street furniture and street trees.
And now we've launched an opportunity for small donors to contribute toward keeping Myrtle green via HelpersUnite, a recently-launched crowd-giving community where you can raise funds for creative and cause-based projects, and sell tickets to your special events, all in one place. You can contribute as little or as much as you want, to help MARP reach its goal of getting all 20 benches and all 20 tree guards adopted.
Visit MARP's HelpersUnite project page to join the effort!
As many of you have seen by now, twenty custom-designed tree guards and twenty tree guard benches were installed on Myrtle Avenue between Washington Park and Classon Avenue. The overall design of the guards and benches is the result of a collaborative process with the Pratt Design Incubator and the local artists who submitted winning designs for the individual, laser-cut panels. Funding for the design phase, which began in 2007, and the first phase of installation came from the NY State Division of Housing & Community Renewal, the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, NY State Council for the Arts, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, and the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership Business Improvement District.
Myrtle's new tree guards are both functional and durable, providing opportunities to sit for the avenue's pedestrians, and also serve as Myrtle’s latest public art project, offering a 'canvas' that reflects Fort Greene and Clinton Hill’s creative spirit. The panels for each tree guard were designed by local artists, who were selected through an open call for proposals in 2010. Designs range from graphic patterns to skylines to maps, and some even reference the former Myrtle Avenue elevated train. The guards will serve as protection for the avenue’s street trees, while providing much-needed intermittent seating for pedestrians and those waiting for the B54 bus. Street trees not only bring an aesthetic appeal to the commercial strip, but also play an important role in filtering the air and providing shady respite from the afternoon sun.
Through a program similar to the NYC Parks Department’s adopt-a-bench initiative, we are seeking sponsors to support our greening efforts and to fund street furniture maintenance. Each ‘adoption’ commitment is for 5 years, and costs $2,500 for a tree guard bench and $1,500 for a tree guard (without a bench). Sponsors will be acknowledged on bench plaques or guard signage, as well as on www.myrtleavenue.org. Resources raised through this program will provide supplemental maintenance funding for the street furniture, the tree bed, and the tree itself, including: replacement of damaged bench planks, painting of panels and posts, tree bed weeding and mulching, tree fertilizer, pruning, special tree care, as needed, and tree bed plantings.
A full project history of the Myrtle Street Furniture Design Initiative can be found here.
Adopt-A-Bench & Adopt-A-TreeGuard program details and forms can be found here.