Fir sure: Another Mulchfest is revving up

Former Councilmember Rosie Mendez shows how it’s done at the kickoff of Mulchfest in Washington Square Park last month.

BY TEQUILA MINSKY | Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver joined a bevy of other city officials last month to officially declare Mulchfest a part of the city’s holiday tradition.

The idea is also to encourage New Yorkers to make eco-friendly mulching a family activity, instead of “pine-ing” for their trees post-holiday.

It might have seemed a little early to kick things off, but the goal is to get the public into the spirit with new branding and a new campaign to bid holiday trees “fir-well” now that the season is coming to an end.

Mulchfest’s new look celebrates New Yorkers’ post-holiday tradition of carrying, carting or dragging their trees to a local park for mulching.

An illustrated cast of diverse characters are shown using bikes, strollers, teamwork and other creative methods to get their trees to the chippers, where their evergreens can be turned into mulch to help reduce waste, and protect and nourish other trees and plants throughout the city.

Former City Councilmember Rosie Mendez got a bag of mulch from Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver after chipping a Christmas tree at Washington Square at the kickoff of Mulchfest last month. Mendez is now Borough President Gale Brewer’s community liaison. Photos by Tequila Minsky

With a total of 68 sites, including parks and Greenthumb gardens, New Yorkers can drop off their trees between Jan. 4 and Jan. 14. Dates have been extended this year for those who celebrate Three Kings Day.

On the final weekend of Mulchfest — known as “chipping weekend” — Jan. 12-13, at 31 chipping sites, people can also get a bag of mulch to take home.

Weather permitting, the Department of Sanitation will collect and compost clean trees left curbside from Wed., Jan. 2 through Sat., Jan. 12. Silver made a point that these trees should not be in a bag, but should remain “naked.”

The mulch is used in planting beds and community gardens around the city. Mulch maintains tree and plant health by deterring weeds, retaining moisture, preventing compaction, adding nutrients to the soil and keeping roots warm.

In recent years, Parks has been mulching between 25,000 and 30,000 trees annually.

For more information on Mulchfest, click here.