Parks throughout Brooklyn take part in yearly ‘Mulchfest’
Homes and gardens will continue to maintain the scent of Christmas thanks to Mulchfest, which swept through parks in Brooklyn and Queens. Thousands of discarded holiday trees and wreaths were ground up into chips and potpourri with the assistance of hundreds of volunteers over the weekend.
In Brooklyn, Mulchfest was held in a variety of parks stretching from Marine Park to Brooklyn Bridge Park.
On Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents brought their Christmas trees, stripped of ornaments, for mulching. Residents were invited to come to local parks to take bags of mulch for their gardens or city tree pits. At some sites, residents were offered coffee or hot chocolate as a treat for their tree drop-off.
L.J. Philip, lead gardener at Lakeside in the Horticulture department of the Prospect Park Alliance, worked with volunteers and park workers to grind up trees of all sizes.
“People and NYC Sanitation bring trees and we chip them — we use them within the park, to spread mulch around our trees so we are recycling them,” Philip said. “We use them around our trees because they are great for moisture, gives them nitrogen, suppresses weeds, and also keeps them a little warm in winter.
“People can come and take some for their house and put it in their garden, put it in a little pot for their plants that they have or use it as potpourri,” he said.
Last year, the city collected 25,000. As of Saturday, according to Philip, Parks Department workers and volunteers chipped more than that at the site on Prospect Park West on just the first day.
Volunteers used U-Hauls and private vehicles to bring the trees over for chipping. Patrick Mackay used a rake to gather the mulch into piles, where many were filling bags to use around their homes and gardens.
“I wanted to throw the trees into the wood chipper but they wouldn’t let us do that,” Mackay said. “I like this program. Otherwise a lot of these trees would end up in a landfill – I don’t know where they would end up. It’s fun to see how many trees people have.”
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