Bette Midler's New York Restoration Project Celebrates
The Waldorf Astoria on Park Avenue in Manhattan hosted the New York Restoration Project's 12th annual Hulaween Gala on Halloween Night. The elegant event supported by many influential personalities including Mayor Michael Bloomberg who explained the NYRP's ultimate significance, "Hulaween is a special event - benefiting a wonderful organization. None of it would have been possible without the marvelous Bette Midler. For 12 years, the New York Restoration Project has done so much to make this a cleaner, more beautiful New York. We are working together to plant one million trees in New York City over the next ten years -- the equivalent to 40 times the number of trees in Central Park."
“I urge every New Yorker to dig in and be a part of Million Trees NYC,” announced NYRP Founder Bette Midler. “It’s the responsibility of our city’s corporations and foundations, developers, block associations, policymakers, home owners and renters–all New Yorkers–to create a million living, growing legacies that will enhance our beloved city and sustain the world for generations to come. To walk under the branches of a tree that you have planted connects you to the roots of our past and the aspirations of our future.”
During our red carpet interview, I asked Ms. Midler "What has the New York Restoration Project done in the last year, tell us some of its achievements." We started the Million Tree Initiative with the city and Mayor Bloomberg. We planted the first tree, we planted 20,000 trees just in October alone. We have built boats, we have picked up tons of garbage, we plant trees and we have built gardens. We opened 5 new gardens this year alone. We bought 65 or 70 gardens a few years ago and every year we design and open a few more, so we have been busy" announced a very dedicated Bette Midler.
In a recent newsletter Ms. Midler revealed "Is there anything that makes a New Yorker happier than spring? Those first cheery daffodils, the tulips and new grass, and when the trees burst into flower before leafing out. It's a glorious spectacle of health and vibrancy in our parks and other open spaces, and it's the most wonderful time of year to be in New York.
Every year more people want to visit and live in our city. Like many of you, I listened eagerly to Mayor Bloomberg's Earth Day speech as he described how New York is expected to grow by a million new residents over the next quarter century. That growth will stretch our housing, transportation systems, and parks to their limit.
The Mayor urged us all to do the responsible thing — to act now so that our children inherit a healthy, sustainable, forward-thinking New York. Mr. Bloomberg has laid out a comprehensive plan that gets us from here to there with our marvelous city not only intact but greatly improved.
What I find most compelling about the Mayor's PLANYC 2030 is the way it describes our interrelated city — how infrastructure, people, and the environment interact and affect each other. It's a web of actions and consequences that have led to some very scary realities, such as New York's alarmingly high rates of asthma and diabetes. But the city's interrelatedness also carries the potential for positive change."
NYRP has made a substantial impact on the economic and social revitalization of underserved communities. We've grown into an effective and admired partner with public agencies that are reshaping the urban environment. NYRP is now one of the leading partners of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation in developing underused and new parkland. Through our park and garden restoration, environmental education, and public programs, NYRP has become an important catalyst for sustainable community development.
NYRP's mission is to partner with enthusiastic individuals, community-based groups, and public agencies to reclaim, restore, and develop under-resourced parks, community gardens, and other open spaces in New York City. Now into our second decade, we've removed over 875 tons of garbage from project sites and reclaimed more than 400 acres of under-resourced and rundown parkland. The New York Restoration Project has rescued scores of community gardens from commercial development and served over 10,000 at-risk urban youngsters with free environmental education programs.
Celebrities that attended this years gala were Bette Midler; Glenn Close; Marcia Gay Harden, Susie Essman, Martha Stewart, Miss Universe - Riyo Mori; Miss USA - Rachel Smith; Miss Teen USA - Hillary Cruz; Fashion Designer Michael Kors; Hilary Rhoda; Elettra Wiedemann; Lonneke Engel; Sandra Lee, Mayor Michael Bloomberg with a special performance by Cheryl Crowe.
This year's event raised over $2 million dollars. For more information about The New York Restoration Project please visit http://www.nyrp.org.
Until my next Celebrity Gossip Darlings
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