Magnolia Tree Earth Center and Project Green Global Kick-Off “Earth Month” in April with Brooklyn School Tree Plantings

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“Save a Tree, Save a Neighborhood” -Hattie Lomax Carthan

Bedford Stuyvesant’s Magnolia Tree Earth Center has partnered with Project Green Global to celebrate Earth Day and increase community awareness of urban ecology and the environment during April through school tree plantings, family STEM workshops, urban environmentalist Hattie Lomax Carthan art exhibition, developing floral fragrances, the PS 21 Block Party and with several other April events.

Young celebrant at 2010 Project
Green/Magnolia event at Herbert
Von King Park. Credit: Barry L. Mason

Over 25 schools with strong STEM programs in Districts 16, and 14 and 13 will receive magnolia trees from Magnolia Tree Earth Center of Bedford Stuyvesant and Project Green Global. The trees will be delivered by truck from a southern state for the NYC Department of Education’s Earth Day celebration on April 20.

“The response has been overwhelming,” said Bernice Green, founder of Project Green Global, who donated her urban ecology and environmental program services to create April’s Earth Day celebrations for Magnolia Tree Earth Center. “The schools have decided to name their legacy trees after heroes and heroines in the community and engage the children in dedications, tree learnings and other projects.”

To celebrate Earth Day, the Magnolia Tree Earth Center’s Board of Directors directed Project Green Global to take the organization into the schools where STEM programs are alive, thriving and as strong as the famed 45-foot Magnolia Grandiflora tree namesake. The tree is considered New York City’s only living landmark and stands tall outside the organization’s three-complex headquarters in Bed-Stuy.

Project Green Global designs intergenerational urban ecology awareness programs that stimulate the interests of K through 12 students and in ecology, the environment, the community-as-laboratory and their personal interactions with these disciplines. The work is intended to complement STEM studies.

Trees growing in Brooklyn is more than a metaphor. It is a fact, thanks to the legacy of the late Hattie Carthan, founder of the Magnolia Tree Earth Center, who planted the Magnolia Grandiflora tree over 50 years ago. Carthan, considered New York City’s first urban environmentalist, presided over a coalition of 100 Block Associations that planted more than 1,500 ginkgo, sycamore and honey locust tree throughout the community.

Other projects taking place in partnership with neighborhood businesses, schools and individuals for April’s Earth Day, include:

 

Sunday, April 22, 2018 NATIONAL EARTH DAY

“From These Roots”: an exhibition curated by Tai Allen and Joanna Williams at the historic Macon Library of photographs and documents related to Hattie Lomax Carthan, considered New York City’s first urban environmentalist and also founder of the Magnolia Tree Earth Center. She organized the Neighborhood Tree Corps and, also during the 1960’s, 100 block associations to plant 1500 trees throughout Bedford Stuyvesant. Also, on site: workshops, readings of the nature poetry of Langston Hughes, storytelling, a screening and talks. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

“Capturing the Essence of Nature”: Information sharing at a gathering of Environmental Scientists, engineers, faculty with teachers of elementary, middle school students, parents and community leaders exploring creative ways to teach STEM to youngsters at home. The session, hosted by Marlon Rice and David Greaves, will expand the community-as-lab concept on the evening marking the passing of Hattie Carthan, in 1984. The workshop will center on neighborhood resident Rodney Hughes, creator of the first Magnolia Grandiflora fragrance ever that he created over a year process from the tree’s 2009 flower petals.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

“The Block Party”: The Magnolia Tree Earth Center of Bedford Stuyvesant joins P.S. 21 at its annual block party for a celebration of school, family and neighborhood and to share information about Magnolia Tree’s history and its resources for the community. Magnolia tables will provide board games, arts and crafts, miniature village-building from everyday materials, and a community mural painting. The debut of Brooklyn’s first ecology songs – “Like an Oak Tree” and “Planting My Future” — composed by former NYC Parks and Recreation arts and recreation instructor Larry Banks for the children of Brooklyn — will be performed at a tree dedication to education pioneer Adelaide Sanford.

For more information, contact Project Green Global at: 917-860-8363.