The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens shows us that greenhouses are great for allowing us to grow plants that would normally be hard to grow here in New York, but this also shows us that we should be growing more plant life in New York. Wildlife is being removed in order to extend cities and towns and in the long run, this will affect us especially if we aren’t returning what we take. This isn’t new, in fact it’s a topic that has already been tackled by New York as we set out to plant 1 million trees in a decade, and we were 2 years ahead of the prediction. More cities, and states should follow this example and work to put back what we have already taken. Brazil is known to be the lungs of the world, and for good reason. But as much as 1800 forest fires strike, we risk losing more trees and plant life every year.
According to an article by the Guardian titled, “Introducing ‘treeconomics’: How street trees can save our cities”, planting more trees in neighborhoods can improve mental and physical health and can even help reduce asthma. The article also mentions that neighborhoods with more plant life have been known to sell better real estate. Many may ask why more tree planting projects have not been put into practice, it’s simply because maintaining tree life is not easy. In the New York Times article “As City Plants Trees, Some Say a Million Are Too Many” by Lisa W. Foderaro, most park related calls to 311 are complaints about trees. Some of these complaints listed in the article like “excessive shade and lead litter” are a small price to pay for the benefits of having more trees.
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens Photograph by City Tech Student Ashley Lopez
Trees absorb harmful carbon dioxide in the atmosphere carbon and in turn, give off oxygen; they filter and clean the air and are the primary source of about 25% of all medicine. Homeowners have trees to naturally cool off their homes in the summer with the shade trees provide. It would be a mistake to say that the world could live better with less plant life. Life would not be sustainable without plant life. It is said that Brazil, with its vast forests, is the world’s lungs, but with almost 1,800 fires in the Brazilian Amazon, it’s doubtful regrowth in Brazil can be achieved any time soon. We should be doing more to repair the damage that has been done already. To think that one country has to carry the entire planet is incredible.
Currently the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens is trying to combat an attempt to construct two 39 story towers next to the gardens. These two buildings would cut off a large amount of the sunlight the gardens need to survive. Projects like these should be more considerate about the environment. Rather than hurt the plant life we are already sustaining, we should try and aid them and help them expand. If this project is given the green light, it would set back the progress all of New York’s botanical gardens has shown everyone already. More greenhouses and gardens should be encouraged not pushed aside. New York supported a good cause when they planted a million trees and they should continue doing this by preserving places like the Brooklyn botanical gardens. The world is already facing many disasters like forest fires, intense hurricanes and flooding, we need to help and repair the damage that earth has endured. We need to lead by example and this is the way to start.