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Madison Square Park Conservancy is responsible for the maintenance of the park’s lawns. From May through September, lawns are open daily for public use starting at 10 AM through 7 PM, weather permitting. Learn more about park hours and rules by visiting our FAQ page.

The Trees That Keep Us Cool

Aug 9, 2021 | Horticulture

The Trees That Keep Us Cool

Mspc Hero Treeline

It has been a hot summer in New York City. While many of us see hot days as a time to relax in the park, extreme heat temperatures can cause people to experience heat exhaustion, illnesses, and even death. Trees provide benefits that protect our park and community from dangerous heat conditions.  

The number of very hot days in New York City have been increasing as climate change impacts the world around us. Cities in particular are subject to dangerously hot days due to the heat island effect. Since so much of the city is made up of concrete, with limited green spaces our neighborhoods are subject to higher surface temperatures making it harder for people and animals to stay cool and safe. Even using energy to run air conditioners makes the city hotter overall! 

By protecting our green spaces and trees we can do our part to protect our neighbors from extreme heat. Shade from trees reduces the amount of heat absorbed by buildings and pavement, and can lower surface and air temperatures up to 45°F. Trees reduce our reliance on air conditioning, saving energy in the long run. According to the National Tree Benefits Calculator, all of the trees in Madison Square Park reduce electricity used for cooling the surrounding area by 20,540 kW hours in a yearthat amounts to nearly $3,000 in energy cost savings across the neighborhood.

A study by the US Forest Service explains that community forests save an average of one human life per year. In New York City alone, our green spaces and trees can save an average of eight lives each year! Trees, especially those with large leaves like the London Plane, lower temperatures and can even reduce mental fatigue, blood pressure, and muscle tension in humans. 

At Madison Square Park, an accredited Level 2 arboretum, we protect our trees in order to keep our community and the creatures living in the park safe from heat-related illnesses. 

Learn more about how we care for the trees in your park here.

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Abigail Deville: Light of Freedom
Abigail Deville: Light of Freedom, Narrated by Brooke Kamin Rappoport
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