Tree Fund

Arbor Day Returns to Rye!

October 12 - Rye City’s official Arbor Day! Rye Sustainability worked to reinstate Rye City as a Tree City USA. The official celebration of this important designation occurred next to the new native tree plantings on Purchase Street. Mayor Cohn read a proclamation announcing October 12 as Arbor Day, followed by a ribbon cutting. Thanks to donors to the Rye Tree Fund who made the new plantings possible. For more information on the benefits of trees visit the RSC Tree Fund Page.

Watch Rye TV’s coverage of the event here.

RSC Chair Melissa Grieco's Arbor Day Remarks

Happy Rye Arbor Day everyone and welcome to this Arbor Day observance and ribbon cutting ceremony. 

As you may already know, the City of Rye was reinstated as a Tree City USA in 2017 after a long lapse of 11 years. Before 2017, Rye was last designated as a Tree City back in 2006, so it's wonderful that we are now back in business as a tree city once again!

This ceremony today is first and foremost a celebration of the importance of trees to our municipality. Trees confer innumerable benefits on our community including:

  • reducing heating and cooling costs

  • enhancing property values

  • cleaning the air

  • providing habitat for wildlife 


And, this is a big benefit for flood-prone Rye, trees are being increasingly recognized for their importance in managing stormwater runoff. In urban and suburban settings a single deciduous tree can intercept from 500 to 760 gallons per year; and a mature evergreen can intercept more than 4,000 gallons per year! Trees also filter out pollutants that would otherwise wind up in Blind Brook and the Long Island Sound in a rainfall event, which we seem to be getting a lot of lately.

Unfortunately, we are losing trees in Rye at an alarming rate due to old age, disease, extreme weather events (which are also happening more frequently) and of course we are losing trees to construction and development.

That is why it's great to see that the Rye Department of Public Works has done a beautiful job with this little plot of land here in our downtown and has planted some native grasses and shrubs as well as these two native trees, a redbud and red maple. 

The funding for the planting of these two trees came from the City of Rye Sustainability Committee Tree Fund. The Rye Tree Fund collects donations of any amount from Rye residents to defray the costs associated with the purchasing, planning, planting and pruning of native municipal street trees. All the Tree P's, as we like to call them.

I'd like to thank several people today.

Arbor Day Proclamation

Firstly I want to thank our Mayor Josh Cohn for all he has done to help Rye become reinstated as a Tree City USA. As I just mentioned, there was a long lapse of 11 years when we did not receive the recognition and it is only with our Mayors endorsement and backing that we were able to reach Tree City USA status once again. This is a big accomplishment for this current administration and one that we should all be proud of.

And a huge thank you to City Engineer Ryan Coyne and his staff for their work in transforming this little patch of land into a native plant oasis. And for all their work in getting Tree Fund subsidized native street trees planted throughout Rye which encompass a bunch right here along Purchase Street including Thornless Honey Locusts, Red Maples, American Lindens and more.

Thank you to all the City Staff including Marcus Serrano, Christian Miller, Joe Fazzino, Melissa Johanessen, Kristin Wilson, Carolyn D'Andrea and others who have helped along the way with the implementation and success of the tree fund. 

Thank you to Rye Sustainability Committee City Council liaison, Sara Goddard, for her unwavering support and advocacy.

And a big thank you to all Tree Fund donors past and present, several of whom are here today.
With that, I'd like to turn things over to Mayor Cohn to read out the official Arbor Day Proclamation after which he'll sign it with this homemade quill (decorated with native grasses of course). And then we'll have a ribbon cutting to mark this wonderful tree planting and occasion.


Rye Receives Tree City USA Designation

It’s official! Rye has received Tree City USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation! Rye Sustainability worked with Rye City staff to reinstate this important designation after its lapse for many years.

Rye Sustainability would like to thank City staff Christian Miller, Ryan Coyne, Melissa Johanessen, and Joe Fazzino for all their help, and a special thank you to Mayor Cohn for making the official proclamation.

Stay tuned for details about an upcoming Rye City Arbor Day, but information about Tree City USA and the importance of trees can be found on RSC's Tree Fund Page.

Want to help keep Rye a beautiful, tree-lined community? Consider a donation to the Rye Tree Fund, which helps finance the planning, purchasing and planting of street trees in Rye.

Rye Sustainability's New Year's Resolutions

It's that time of year when we scratch our heads for meaningful yet attainable New Year's resolutions. As you try to sort it all out, Rye Sustainability members offer some suggestions to help your 2018 be a "green" one. We've also compiled a list of suggestions from other organizations.

Happy New Year!

Rye Sustainability's New Year's Resolutions

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Other Great Ideas ...

  • Although designed for school children, One World's Eco Passport contains a list of "eco actions" that everyone can print out and complete.
  • Varsity's list includes simple action items, such as turning off the dryer and recycling paper.
  • Huffington Post interviewed eco-friendly experts and celebrities for their suggestions, which include switching to a green energy supplier and avoiding disposable containers when purchasing fresh produce.
  • EcoWatch lists 10 ways to be an environmental steward. Some ideas: Buy local and change your mode of transportation.

On a Safari Trip for Trees

A Tree Planting Bonanza

Rye City staff went on a street tree shopping spree this fall, thanks to generous donations by Rye residents to the Branching out for Rye Tree Fund.

Rye Sustainability member and Tree Fund chair, Melissa Grieco, joined Rye City Planner Christian Miller and Rye City Engineer Ryan Coyne on a trip to Hardscrabble Nursery in October to select native trees for planting in various locations around Rye.  A total of seven trees were purchased and planted throughout the City.

Many thanks to our Rye City staff for their efforts in keeping Rye beautiful and green!

And a thank you to those who have generously donated to the Branching out for Rye Tree Fund.

For further information please visit Rye Sustainability's Tree Fund page and consider making a donation to the Tree Fund.

trees and their locations

  • "Central Park" (grassy area on Boston Post Rd across from Jerry's Market) - Three River Birches
  • Disbrow Park area - Tulip Tree
  • City Hall parking lot - Two Thornless Honey Locusts
  • Village Green - Sugar Maple

A Beautiful and Natural Rye Streetscape

The City of Rye has completed its downtown street improvements project on Purchase Street and a number of beautiful street trees, many of them natives, have been added to the landscape.

For Earth Week, Rye Sustainability helped commemorate the planting of the first native tree   purchased and planted with funds donated from the Branching Out for Rye Tree Fund - a Thornless Honeylocust. Now five more trees have been added to Purchase Street.

Thank you to City of Rye staff for their efforts in planting these trees and for recognizing the importance of introducing native trees into our community!

For further information about the benefits of trees, please visit our Tree Fund page and consider making a donation to the Tree Fund. Any amount is welcome!

For further information about the Purchase Street trees, please see below.

Thornless Honeylocust

Information about the thornless honeylocust from the Arbor Day Foundation:

A   thornless honeylocust   in front of TD Bank.

A thornless honeylocust in front of TD Bank.

"The thornless honeylocust has captured the hearts of arborists, community foresters and homeowners throughout America. And no wonder. This tree is easy to plant, grows fast, has reasonably strong branches, is aesthetically pleasing and is tough enough to withstand just about any urban setting."

"In nature it grows in both a thorned and thornless form, with thorns growing up to 12" long. Many regions in the South once referred to honeylocusts as Confederate pin trees because those thorns were used to pin uniforms together during the Civil War."

A thornless honeylocust near the intersection of Locust Avenue

A thornless honeylocust near the intersection of Locust Avenue


Two lindens flank Rye Country Store

Two lindens flank Rye Country Store

Information about lindens from the University of Kentucky Department of Horticulture:

"This American native was used for centuries for its fibrous inner bark and fragrant flowers. It bears unique flowers and large, heart-shaped leaves. The tree is stately as a single specimen or when it is allowed to form a clump."

"This tree will develop to its full potential if given full sun and rich, moist, well-drained soil. American linden will tolerate clay, a wide pH range and partial shade. It is noted for its adaptability. "

Red Maple

A red maple tree near the intersection of Purchase Street and Locust Avenue

A red maple tree near the intersection of Purchase Street and Locust Avenue

Information about the red maple from the National Wildlife Foundation:

"Red maple is named for its red flowers, red fruit, red twigs, and of course, the brilliant red fall foliage! Autumn sightseers of the eastern deciduous forest praise the red maple for its striking scarlet leaves. Few people know that red maple foliage can turn yellow or orange in the fall too!"

"Red maples are perhaps the most abundant tree in the eastern deciduous forest. This status can be attributed to the tree’s generalist tendencies. A generalist species is one that can tolerate a wide range of habitat conditions and uses many different types of resources."

"Red maples do well in sunny or shady spots, dry or wet soil, high or low elevation, etc. It’s unlikely that any other tree in North America can match the red maple’s wide range of growing conditions! Adaptable roots help the red maple to cope with differing soil types. If the tree is placed in wet soil, it grows a short taproot and extensive lateral roots to soak up water at the surface. When red maples grow in dry sites, a long taproot and short lateral roots develop. Despite their remarkable roots, red maples grow better in some conditions than others. Deep, moist, acidic soil results in the healthiest red maples."

A   red maple tree midway down Purchase near Jos A. Bank store

A red maple tree midway down Purchase near Jos A. Bank store

"Branching Out For Rye's" First Tree Planting

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All branches of the community were represented at the April 19 tree planting ceremony commemorating the first tree purchased and planted with funds donated from the Branching Out for Rye Tree Fund.

Rye Sustainability Chair Sara Goddard thanked the many members of the City of Rye staff for their support with facilitating the fund and with the selection of an appropriate and sustainable tree - in this case, a beautiful Thornless Honeylocust. RSC is honored to assist the City with its beautification efforts and Goddard pointed out that that this first tree planting symbolizes a partnership in sustainability among all branches of the community – civic, municipal, residential and business.


RSC member and Tree Fund Chair Melissa Grieco thanked the donors for their generous contributions, noting that donations to date total $4,250. A ribbon cutting ceremony followed, as Deputy Mayor Julie Killian performed the honors with "official" garden shears. City Council member Danielle Tagger-Epstein affixed the Branching Out for Rye tree plaque and then everyone had a turn at shoveling the final clumps of dirt.

The highlight of the day, however, was the arrival of members of Brownie Troop 1915 who, in addition to displaying their expert shoveling skills, plan to embark on a tree fund fundraising campaign as one of their troop activities.

For further information please visit RSC's Tree Fund page and consider making a donation to the Tree Fund. Any amount is welcome!

Are Your Trees in Trouble?

The meeting room at Rye Free Reading Room was packed on February 2nd as people gathered to learn about how to protect their trees from the threat of invasive pests. RSC and The Rye Garden Club co-sponsored the film screening of "Trees in Trouble", which was followed by a presentation from Frazer Pehmoeller of Bartlett Tree Experts.

RGC's Sarah Barringer has written an excellent article about the event and what we can do to protect our trees. The article is reprinted in its entirety below.

Want to do more to protect our trees? Consider a donation to the Rye Tree Fund!

Trees in Trouble

By Sarah Barringer, Rye Garden Club

Trees in Trouble:border.jpg

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is on its way to Rye and the effects could be ugly. First discovered in the US in 2001, this tree eating pest arrived accidentally in wood crates from Asia. Since then it has spread to nearly all the states of the US and is estimated to have decimated 50 million ash trees already. This could have a devastating effect on the trees of our area, as white, blue and black ash trees comprise 13%-20% of the tree canopy of Westchester County. The emerald ash borer has been detected in Greenwich, so it is time we in Rye take action to protect our trees.

Frazer Pehmoeller, an arborist with Bartlett Tree Experts, is concerned. Frazer is known by many in Rye as he has been caring for Westchester's trees for the past 28 years. He leads Bartlett Tree's collaboration with the Friends of Rye Town Park and has been caring for the trees there for more than a decade.

In a program co-sponsored by the Rye Garden Club and the Rye Sustainability Committee on February 2 at the Rye Free Reading Room, Frazer addressed the threats to trees in Westchester and how we can protect them. The evening began with the film Trees in Trouble, a short documentary about the effect of the emerald ash borer on the city of Cincinnati. Cincinnati's trees were devastated by the emerald ash borer. What funds were put to the problem went to removing dead trees, with very little budgeted to protective measures. Some streets lost every single tree lining the roadway. Homeowners lost countless trees on their properties.

Frazer Pehmoeller (Bartlett Trees) with Melissa Grieco (RSC Tree Fund chair) and Julia Burke (RGC president)

Frazer Pehmoeller (Bartlett Trees) with Melissa Grieco (RSC Tree Fund chair) and Julia Burke (RGC president)

One of the difficulties with the EAB is that by the time you see the damage to the tree and/or see the insects, it is too late to save the tree. The EAB female lays eggs beneath the bark. The larvae feed under the bark in the cambial tissue of the tree. Their burrowing disrupts the tree's ability to absorb and transfer nutrients and water. By the time this larvae hatches into the bugs one can see, the tree is dying. Preventative measures are a must.

In a lively and informative discussion that followed the film, Frazer detailed what we can do to protect the trees of Rye.

  • Get a tree inventory. Have an arborist help you map the trees on your property so you know what you have. This is important for the city to do for civic properties.
  • Develop a plan to care for your trees. This means pruning trees, keeping in mind the pests and diseases that can harm different types of trees and treating trees that are susceptible to diseases and pests. As Friends of Rye Town Park have done, it makes sense to develop a long-term tree plan. You can spread the work you need to do over time.
  • If you have ash trees, it is time to protect them so they can ward off the EAB. Trees can be inoculated with pesticides that prevent the emerald ash borer from feeding. There is a chemical option and an organic option.
  • Plant trees and keep biodiversity in mind. Planting a diverse variety of trees will not only create a healthy ecosystem on your property, but will ensure that some trees remain even when a pest or disease attacks.
  • Plant native trees whenever possible. Fraser recommends oaks, the sugar maple, the red maple if you have a wet property, beech trees (but make sure to invest in their care) and the white birch. The ash is a wonderful tree to plant but will need inoculations over time.
RGC president Julia Burke with Frazer Pehmoeller and RSC chair Sara Goddard

RGC president Julia Burke with Frazer Pehmoeller and RSC chair Sara Goddard

Frazer concluded the evening with a reminder of the value of trees. Along with trees' essential roles as habitat and food for animals in a healthy ecosystem, we often take trees for granted and forget that trees provide so much for human health. They are necessary for clean air, for storm water management and for keeping our communities shaded and cool. Time in nature and among trees contributes to human well-being. Trees deserve our care and give back to us in so many ways.

The Rye Sustainability Committee has created a Tree Fund for the city of Rye. Contributions will be put towards planting trees and caring for the trees of Rye. Learn more by visiting RSC's Tree Fund page.

Planting Trees: A Smart Thing to Do

Click to enlarge image.

Urban trees aren't just frivolous ornamentation. According to a recent study by the Nature Conservancy, they're actually a wise investment and are one of the most effective strategies that can be used to reduce particulate matter emissions (see graphic).  Co-author of the Nature Conservancy report, Rob McDonald, concludes: "we should start thinking of trees as a crucial part of our public-health infrastructure.”

RSC member Melissa Grieco writes below about the benefits of planting the right tree in the right place.

The Right Tree in the Right Place

By Melissa Grieco, Rye Sustainability Committee

Planting ‘the right tree in the right place’ can help minimize any potential danger or inconveniences that mature trees may pose. In addition, proper tree care and maintenance, including regular pruning, are vital to promoting tree health and safe growth. Below is a list of important factors to consider before breaking ground:

  • Height: Will the tree bump into anything when it is fully grown or will it pose a potential hazard to wires or residences once it is mature?
  • Canopy spread: How wide will the tree grow? Again, will its mature canopy eventually cause undesirable proximity to wires or a building or residence?
  • Type: Is the tree deciduous or coniferous? Will it lose its leaves in the winter?
  • Form/Shape: A columnar tree will grow in less space. Round and V-Shaped species provide the most shade.
  • Growth Rate: How long will it take for your tree to reach its full height? Slow growing species typically live longer than fast growing species.
  • Invasive vs. Native: Is the tree species native to this region? Invasive trees tend to grow quickly with a shallow root system causing them to be more prone to blow-downs. In addition, native species are the optimum choice for wildlife habitat restoration or enhancement.
  • Care and Maintenance: What are the tree’s soil, sun, and moisture requirements? How often should the tree be pruned to ensure safe growth?
  • Fruit: Who wants messy droppings on busy sidewalks or driveways?

Unfortunately, we lose trees every year and at an alarming rate here in Rye. Several factors are contributing to the accelerated loss of trees:

  1. New development and construction.
  2. Extreme weather events.
  3. Street trees that were planted decades ago are now succumbing to old age and disease.
  4. Residents, fearing that trees will fall during the next extreme weather event, are intentionally removing trees.

The Rye Tree Fund: Branching Out For Rye

In order to help offset tree losses while preserving these critically important features of our beautiful neighborhoods, Rye Sustainability Committee and the Conservation Commission/Advisory Council have launched a municipal tree planting fund named Branching Out for Rye. For further information please visit RSC's Tree Fund page and consider making a donation to the Tree Fund. Any amount is welcome!



Announcing the Rye Tree Fund

The Rye Tree FUnd: Branching Out for Rye

Greenburgh, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Mamaroneck Village, New Rochelle, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, Yonkers .... What do all these neighboring communities have in common? They're all members of Tree City USA. Rye, once a proud member of this organization that "celebrates the importance of an urban tree canopy," lost its designation in 2006.

To assist the City of Rye with its tree planning and planting needs while, underscoring the importance of trees as one of Rye's natural treasures, RSC is pleased to announce the launch of a tree fund named Branching Out for Rye.

The fund will help replace lost trees by collecting donations of any amount from Rye residents to defray the costs associated with the City of Rye's planning, purchasing, planting and maintenance of municipal trees. We will work with the City of Rye to identify appropriate locations in public spaces for native or non-invasive species of trees. We will provide periodic updates on how Tree Fund donations are being used.

With your donation, we can help the City plant the right trees in the right places and reinstate its Tree City USA membership.

Visit the Tree Fund page to learn more and please consider making a donation.

Thank you!

It's Fall: A Perfect Time to Switch to Natural Landscaping

Are you thinking about switching from conventional to natural lawn care but don't know how to make the transition? The fall season is a perfect time to make the switch and transform your yard into one that's healthy and beautiful for all.


What Does Healthy Mean?

First, it's important to understand why making the change is so important. It all starts with the definition of "healthy." A healthy - and by extension, beautiful - yard is one that starts with good soil.

Beyond Pesticides, a non-profit environmental organization committed to ending reliance on pesticides, states it clearly in their Organic Lawn Care 101 sheet: "Healthy soil contains high organic content and is teeming with biological life. Healthy soil supports the development of healthy grass that is naturally resistant to weeds and pests. In a healthy, fertile and well maintained lawn, diseases and pest problems are rare."

In fact, applying damaging and dangerous chemicals is the worst thing homeowners can do if the objective is a beautiful yard filled with vibrant plants, trees and a lush green lawn. As Rye Nature Center's Director of Conservation & Land Stewardship, Taro Ietaka, points out: "synthetic pesticides and herbicides kill beneficial soil micro-organisms that are helping your plants."

“Recognize that your soils are living and that you are the primary caretaker or destroyer of that living environment.”
— Dr. Kris Nichols, chief scientist at the Rodale Institute

In short: soil is living. And during the fall and winter, the diverse mix of organisms contained in soil continue to live. In a recent article on The Nature Conservancy's blog, Dr. Kris Nichols, chief scientist at the Rodale Institute comments: “Even when we think of our soils as frozen and dead, there’s still a living component to that.”

So now that you know why you should make the change, how can you care for your yard with the goal of minimizing pesticide applications? Here are some fall lawn care tips to get you started.


fall landscaping

General Tips

Beyond Pesticides' Organic Lawn Care 101 sheet provides a useful list of general tips, reproduced in part here:

1. Mow High Until the Season Ends – Bad mowing practices cause more problems than any other cultural practice. Mowing with a dull blade makes the turf susceptible to disease and mowing too close invites sunlight in for weeds to take hold. Keep your blades sharp, or ask your service provider to sharpen their blades frequently. For the last and first mowing, mow down to 2 inches to prevent fungal problems. For the rest of the year keep it at 3‐3.5 to shade out weeds and foster deep, drought‐resistant roots.

2. Aerate – Compaction is an invitation for weeds. If your lawn is hard, compacted, and full of weeds or bare spots, aerate to help air, water and fertilizer to enter. If you can’t stick a screwdriver easily into your soil, it is too compacted. Get together with your neighbors and rent an aerator. Once you have an established, healthy lawn, worms and birds pecking at your soil will aerate it for free!

3. Fertilize, but go easy and go organic! – Fertilizing in early fall ensures good growth and root development for your grass. Nitrogen, the most abundant nutrient in lawn fertilizers promotes color and growth. Adding too much nitrogen, or quick release synthetic fertilizers, will result in quicker growth and the need for more mowing. Too much nitrogen can also weaken the grass, alter the pH, and promote disease, insect, and thatch build‐up. If applied too late, nutrients can leach directly into nearby surface waters. Be aware of local phosphorus or nitrogen loading concerns. Your soil test results will ensure that you apply only what you need.

4. Overseed With the Right Grass Seed – Once again, fall is the best time to seed your lawn. Grass varieties differ enormously in their resistance to certain pests, tolerance to climatic conditions, growth habit and appearance. Endophytic grass seed provides natural protection against some insects and fungal diseases ‐ major benefits for managing a lawn organically. Talk to your local nursery about the best seed for your area. Check to see the weed content of the grass seed and that there are no pesticide coatings.

Leaf Mulching

What is leaf mulching? According to Leave Leaves Alone:

"Leaf mulching is the practice of chopping leaves into small pieces. Mulching can be done with a lawn mower or a leaf shredder. Mulched leaves can be left on your lawn (they fall between the grass blades) or piled 3" or 4"  deep on garden beds and around shrubs where they act as a protective layer in the winter and, in the growing season, prevent weed growth and help conserve water. Leaf mulch decomposes over time, adding important nutrients and structure to the soil."

To learn more about how you can mulch leaves in your yard this fall, visit the Leave Leaves Alone or Love 'Em and Leave 'Em sites.

Soil Testing

The benefits of soil testing cannot be overstated. It's simple to do and homeowners will be provided with a comprehensive profile of their soil upon which to build the foundation of their natural lawn. For a modest fee, Rye residents can have their soil tested and analyzed through the Westchester Cornell Cooperative Extension.

For more information on healthy soil and landscaping practices, watch RSC's What's Under Your Lawn presentation.

Visit our Rye Healthy Yard and Resources Section to learn more. And ...

Take the RHYP Pledge!


How Much Do You Know About Rye Town Park?

Who owns Rye Town Park? If you answered, Rye, you would be half right ... What is the Rye Town Park Commission? What is FRTP? Stumped, or do you have the answers at your fingertips?

Test your knowledge below (quiz reproduced, thanks to Rye Town Alliance). Understanding the ins and outs of RTP - its mission, ownership structure and financial health - is critical for its continued survival as a natural open space that functions for public enjoyment.

You can see a PDF version of the quiz here.

For more information, visit the RTP.

To see the different ways that you can get involved in the preservation of this treasured space, visit FRTP.

Who owns Rye Town Park?

A.    Rye Town

B.    Rye City and Rye Town Jointly

C.    Seaside Johnnies

Answer: B. The establishing legislation said the park should “be known as Rye Park.”

What are Rye’s financial obligations to RTP?

A.    It’s a 50-50 split with Rye City and Rye Town

B.    It’s a 60-40 split with Rye City and Rye Town

Answer: The answer is A and B.  Under the agreement between Rye Town and City, Rye City is responsible for 46.654% of the operating costs, 39.278% of capital expenditures and is also responsible for policing the park.  [Source: 2014 Audited Financial Statements]

Can Rye Town Park operate revenue generating business activities to defray the costs of operating and maintaining the park?

A.   Yes

B.    No

C.    It depends

Answer: C.  It Depends.  Under the New York law “public trust” doctrine, this may be permissible if the purpose is to enhance the experience of the public when using the park as a public park.  So charging for beach access, offering restaurant facilities and providing reasonable parking is generally permissible to enhance public use of a park as a public park.  However, if the real purpose is not to enhance the park experience but primarily to raise revenue to defray costs, that is not a sufficient justification.

How many cars parked in RTP in 2012 and 2013, respectively?

A.      8,000 and 10,000

B.    12,000 and 13,000

C.    56,724 and 53,622

Answer: C

Of the million-dollar RTP annual running costs, where does most of the money come from and where does it go?

A.    From taxpayers, to park maintenance

B.    From park users, to employees

Answer: B. For its financial year 2014, Rye Town Park revenues were $892,000 of which cash receipts from parking and beach were approximately $618,000 (or about 70% of total revenue).  Of total operating expenses of $892,934, approximately $522,000 (59%) was spent on staff salaries and benefits. [Source:  2014 Audited Financial Statements]  The figures for receipts do not include approximately $116,000 for permit sales (presumably charged online or by credit card) and $95,000 from concessions (e.g., Seaside Johnnies).

Who runs the Park?

A.   The Rye Town Park Commission, made up of officials from Rye City, Rye Town, Port Chester and Rye Brook.  Rye’s representatives are Mayor Joe Sack and Councilmember Julie Killian.

B.    RTP Staff

C.    Seaside Johnnies

Answer: A

Does RTP financially “break even” every year?

A. Yes

B. No

Answer: As a public good, a park should NOT be expected to break even. Yet even with a largely cash-based system, the park was even in 2013, lost approx. $50,000 in 2014 and was up in 2015 (unofficial). The park posted a deficit of $500,000 the year before reforms were implemented and differential pricing for non-residents was put into place.

How Valuable Are Your Trees?

We all know that trees provide a beautiful natural setting for suburban and urban communities, but did you know that they can also add an economic benefit? The Tree Benefit Calculator attempts to quantify these benefits.

The Tree Benefit Calculator allows anyone to make a simple estimation of the benefits individual street-side trees provide. This tool is based on i-Tree’s street tree assessment tool called STREETS. With inputs of location, species and tree size, users will get an understanding of the environmental and economic value trees provide on an annual basis.

Simply enter information about a street-side tree and learn about the benefits it provides. Street-side trees are typically located in front yards, medians, parkways, planting strips or other common planting areas adjacent to streets.