Huntington Hospital to plant 1,850 trees for babies delivered last year

Huntington Hospital to plant 1,850 trees for babies delivered last year

Huntington Hospital is participating in Northwell Health’s initiative to plant a tree for each of the more than 30,000 babies born in its hospitals last year. Photo from Huntington Hospital

A tree grows in Huntington. When Huntington Hospital finishes its tree planting effort, 1,850 of them will grow.

Huntington Hospital will participate in Northwell Health’s initiative to plant a tree for each of the 30,500 babies born in its hospitals in 2021.

The babies born through the Northwell system, which includes Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, South Shore University Hospital, and Lenox Hill Hospital and six others, accounted for 15% of the births in New York and 1% of the total in the country.

“Northwell is committed to keeping our communities well — and to doing it in the most socially responsible way,” Donna Drummond, Northwell’s chief sustainability officer, said in a statement. “We believe that we will have a positive impact on the environment while providing our neighbors with a great way to commemorate a new life.”

Northwell started planting trees at its 10 hospitals April 29, on the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day, which is the last Friday in April.

At first, Northwell had considered planting plum trees, but those weren’t native to the area, so they planted cherry trees, said Adam Elbayar, senior project manager at Northwell.

The idea originated with Drummond, who suggested in a text to Elbayar that she wanted to plant a tree for each baby born in 2021.

Elbayar said Northwell is still working out the logistics of where to plant the trees, which will contribute to several efforts, including reforestation and a community canopy initiative.

Northwell plans to work with the Arbor Day Foundation as it searches for places to contribute these trees.

“What we’re planting on Long Island may be different than the trees we plant” in other areas, particularly the ones that rejuvenate an area after a wildfire, Elbayar said.

Northwell wants to focus on those areas where the need for trees is the highest and will use the tree equity score to find those neighborhoods that would benefit most from additional trees.

Northwell plans to work closely with leadership in obstetrician and gynecological offices to put together material that will alert new mothers to the project.

Part of the tree planting effort will include a children’s book new mothers receive in which the front page indicates that a tree was planted in honor of the child.

From what Northwell currently expects many of the trees will be saplings.

The tree planting effort at Northwell, which will cover the cost of the trees, represents one of several environmental initiatives at the health care company, including recycling and waste minimization.

Northwell’s goal is to make this an ongoing project, Elbayar said.

Elbayar said Northwell is pleased to join several other companies, including L’Oreal and Met Life, that are planting trees to boost reforestation and support the environment.

“There has been a lot of great work by other companies in this space,” Elbayar added.

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