Caring for street trees

Please visit the Parks Department Tree page for information on caring for and planting street trees — and check out their interactive tree map!

Planting flowers in the tree pits is allowed and encouraged no only to beautify the neighborhood, but also because flowers need frequent watering which will benefit the tree at the same time. Avoid building up soil around the base of the tree since moisture on the trunk could harm the tree.

The BHA sells metal “Please curb your dog” signs to encourage dog owners to mind the health of the trees by curbing their dogs. Dog waste is harmful to trees. Please call the office at 718-585-9193 or email to purchase a sign.

See a Tree Problem? Let Us Know

Heights residents can ensure the continued beauty of our leafy streets by reporting any dangerous conditions involving trees and especially in the case of accidents. Should you witness damage to a street tree, act quickly to record the vehicle license plate, taking a photo and noting the exact location. Forward these facts to the BHA so we can notify the Parks Department, which can seek monetary compensation.  

Show Your Support for Our Trees

If you’d like to make a donation to the BHA’s Tree Fund, please go here. Thank you!

Brooklyn Heights boasts a relatively dense and healthy canopy of trees. In the summer of 2015, a tree census conducted by the BHA in cooperation with the NYC Parks Department found 1,245 sidewalk trees in a variety of species. The BHA has partnered with the NYC Parks Department in a multi-faceted approach to care for our neighborhood’s trees. In addition to advising residents about the importance of watering the trees in front of their buildings, especially during hot months, the BHA has arranged for the pruning of sidewalk trees, using funds contributed by film companies and donations by BHA members to the BHA Tree Fund. In 2014, the BHA paid for the planting of 19 new trees throughout the Heights. In 2018 we enlarged the tree pits on Garden place. Periodically, we organize volunteers to conduct surveys to assess the condition of the neighborhood’s trees, most recently in 2020, when over 60 volunteers surveyed 84 blocks and measured 1424 tree pits in our neighborhood and filled out a survey to include information on the state of each tree. We’ve shared our findings with Lincoln Restler’s office who is using the data you collected to make his ambitious tree plan for District 33 a reality.

Volunteers manning the table at the PGC’s annual fundraising bake sale

In 2009, the Brooklyn Heights Association and the Department of Parks and Recreation formed a Public-Private-Partnership called the Promenade Garden Conservancy to secure a dedicated professional gardener to restore and maintain the 1/3mile-long ribbon of park that borders the much-visited Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

The BHA Underwrites Half the Cost of a Full-Time Gardener

The BHA supports 50% of the cost of a full-time New York City Parks and Recreation Department gardener during the growing season. 

Interested in Volunteering?

One gardener alone cannot maintain a garden the size of the Promenade without a little help. Tuesday mornings, from April to December and under the expert guidance of our wonderful Parks Department gardener Jessica Kulig, a stalwart corps of neighborhood volunteers pitches in to maintain and continuously improve the Garden. It’s one of the largest garden volunteer groups in the city.

Stop by on Tuesday mornings to say hello, or better yet, join in the fun. Whether you’re a seasoned horticulturist or an absolute beginner, there are many different ways to get involved. You’ll be helping the Promenade Garden keep its reputation as one of the City’s most visited, admired, and enjoyed public gardens.

For more information, please email Follow us on Instagram @BKLYNPromenade or Facebook @Promenade Garden Conservancy


BHA Governor Lorraine Bonaventura speaks on behalf of the BHA at the October 26 press conference

On October 26, 2019, the BHA joined Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, Nydia M. Velazquez and other elected officials along with neighborhood and civic groups from across the city on the steps of City Hall to show our support for the Improving Helicopter Safety Act of 2019. This new federal legislation would improve residents’ safety and reduce noise pollution by prohibiting nonessential helicopters from flying within New York City airspace and thus drastically reduce helicopter traffic. 

About This Issue

In January 2016 the de Blasio Administration — to the great consternation and outrage of the affected communities — reached a closed-door agreement with the tourist helicopter industry to extend its lease for the Downtown Manhattan Heliport another five years and to eliminate the City’s right to terminate the lease within that period.

While it reduces the number of flights by January 2017 from 60,000 to 30,000 and bans all Sunday tourist flights over Governors Island, it maintains flights at a level that was already the source of widespread community opposition.  StoptheChop, the coalition advocating for the ban on all tourist flights, strenuously objected to the Administration’s lack of consultation with affected communities and their elected officials. It also questioned the industry’s commitment to report truthfully on its operations.

Not to be deterred by the new restrictions, the helicopter industry sought to build a heliport in Yonkers so that it could operate tourist flights outside the bounds of the NYC agreement.  With concerted advocacy by StoptheChop, the BHA, Yonkers residents and others, the Yonkers City Council voted down the proposed heliport in June 2016, thus blocking the industry’s maneuver.  Critics of the industry fear that it will seek an alternate heliport site in Westchester County to evade the new restrictions.

With the closing of the West 30th Street Heliport in 2010, all sightseeing helicopter operations in New York City were moved to the Downtown Manhattan Heliport, directly across the East River from the Promenade.  Since then, helicopter noise has become an increasing and incessant problem for Heights residents, as well as for waterfront communities throughout the city.  Their noise permeates into our parks and homes, diminishing city residents’ ability to work, sleep and enjoy their communities.

A 600% Increase in Flights

The complaints about helicopter noise reflect the tremendous growth of their operations from 10,000 flights annually in 2002 to 60,000 currently, 80% of which serve tourists.  On peak days, 3 to 6 helicopters are in the air at the same time.

The New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection held a public hearing November 12, 2015, on Intro 858-2015 and 859-2015, two bills that would prohibit Stage 1 and Stage 2 sightseeing helicopters, the loudest and most polluting helicopter types in operation, and ban Stage 3 helicopters subject to approval by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. The operation of emergency, military, business and news helicopters would not be affected.  At the hearing, NYC Economic Development Corporation officials revealed that the City receives little net income from the lease of the heliport and admitted that EDC had not undertaken an independent study of noise impacts despite years of public protest.


Learn More

 See “A Plague of Helicopters Is Ruining New York,” a New York Times Op Ed by former New York City parks commissioner Adrian Benepe and Merritt Birnbaum, executive director of Governors Island Alliance.