What's up with that?

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Q What’s up with all the newly planted trees in the Fort Tryon area? I heard that Bette Midler is involved. Is that true?—April Uzarski, Washington Heights

A Sorta. The new trees were part of Mayor Bloomberg’s ambitious PlaNYC, designed to improve our urban environment. “It had 127 separate initiatives, and new trees were woven throughout,” says first deputy commissioner for NYC Parks Liam Cavanagh. Here’s where the Beaches diva comes in: The longtime New Yorker teamed with Bloomie to launch the MillionTreesNYC project on October 9, 2007, by planting the first tree in the Morrisania area of the Bronx. Other neighborhoods—including Hunts Point, East New York, East Harlem and the Rockaways—are also being targeted. The city is funding 60 percent of the project; that’s $40 million a year for 600,000 trees! The rest of the money—and remaining 400,000 trees—will come from private individuals, companies, nonprofits, colleges and cemeteries. It’s like trees grown on money! (Bad joke, we know.)

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