Mulchfest 2016 was a big success, with 1,107 trees mulched this past weekend at Fort Greene Park! That news is bittersweet, though: it only put us in third place citywide, although we still hold the record — earned last year! — of 1,743 trees mulched.
This year, in first place was Prospect Park West-3rd Street with 1,717 trees mulched, and in second place was Marine Park with 1,270 trees mulched. Total citywide was over 30,000 trees turned into ground cover and fertilizer aids.
“As usual, we had a great turn out this year,” said city Parks Department spokesperson Maeri Ferguson. “Fort Greene Park is always one of our busiest sites!”
“We suspect our numbers were lower this year because of a rain-out on Sunday,” said Julian Macrone, programming and development coordinator at the Fort Greene Park Conservancy. “Because as soon as the sun came out that afternoon neighbors came out in droves.”
Other numbers are also impressive: Saturday was the busier of the two days for us, with 870 trees mulched (2nd place for Saturday mulching!), with 237 trees mulched on Sunday — all done over 6.5 hours with help from 65 volunteers from Brooklyn Tech HS, LaGuardia High School, and neighborhood individuals. And four cambros of coffee and hot cider were donated by Greene Grape Provisions.
And this is only the second year of Mulchfest at Fort Greene Park!
“Overall, we thought that the second year in the Myrtle and Washington Park Plaza was wildly successful, even given the Sunday rain and without the support of the Million Trees volunteers from last year,” said Macrone. “The neighborhood turnout was really spectacular, and it was wonderful getting to meet so many new faces.”
The freshly cut — and wonderfully fragrant — piles of wood and pine needles have already been and continue to be distributed around three-quarters of the park’s sides, in tree pits on Myrtle Avenue, Washington Park, and Saint Edwards Street, as well as in BBQ and exercise areas in the northwest corner.
Local community garden Myrtle Village Green (Myrtle Avenue, between Franklin and Kent) also benefited again, with three truckloads — one more than last year — of mulch sent to help prepare for their coming growing season.
“Our mulch is for organic material on top [of the asphalt], so we have something a little nicer in common areas than walking on pavement,” explained Sam Tresler, a volunteer with Myrtle Village Green. “If anyone wants to volunteer, we’re going to be doing a community agriculture growing bed and volunteer days throughout the year.”
As Fort Greene Park Director David Barker explained last year, the benefits of mulch, stating that “the mulch helps the soil retain moisture, adds a pleasant color and smell to the winter landscape, and reduces the impact of the constant freeze/thaw cycles on park plants.