Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
City to Train Young to Plant Trees
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
New York, NY —
We've been hearing a lot in the news about rising unemployment rates, and the threat of city and state layoffs. well, here's a story about job creation. The city is about to pay 20 young men and women to plant trees, as part of its Million Trees NYC effort. Thanks to a two-year, $2 million federal grant, the training program will allow the 16 to 25 year olds to collect $12 an hour while learning horticulture. Joel Escoto, 24, used to be a car mechanic, but now that he's getting to know trees, he says he thinks about them in his sleep.
ESCOTO: Every single tree I look I'm like, that's a black oak, how do you know? my girlfriend is like "Oh won't you shut up already."
The federal grant was secured by Bronx Congressman Jose Serrano. The trainees will go on the job next month.