Jersey City Trees Speak Up! Local Artist Anne Percoco and Sustainable JC Launch Stewardship Awareness Campaign on Twitter.

JERSEY CITY, NJ — In summer 2016, the trees of Jersey City took to Twitter. Environmental artist Anne Percoco is assigned Twitter accounts to Jersey City trees and recruited residents to tweet, in the first person, from the trees' perspectives. These “tree stories” started a citywide conversation about expanding and maintaining the City’s deficient tree canopy.

This project, produced in partnership with Sustainable Jersey City and numerous volunteers, has been a vehicle for environmental activism, education, and community engagement. The project also helped create a tree inventory using OpenTreeMap.org, an open source mapping tool to which the City subscribes.

Creator Anne Percoco shared her vision: “Both poetic and political, TREE SPEECH will form a virtual ecosystem of interconnected, communicative individuals. This will mirror the fact that trees actually do share information and nutrients through an underground fungal network.”

Participants act as creative collaborators and authors, tweeting tree jokes, quotes, and drawings; updates about trees' health and seasonal changes; and educational information about the benefits of green infrastructure. The #TreeSpeech hashtag tracks this dialog.