Manhattan Healing Forest

Planting for Resilience.

Roosevelt Island, New York City, NY
Miyawaki Forest




Square Feet


Native Species

Planting in progress
Planting in progress

"Tekenink atàm" (Let us go to the forest)

— Lenape Forest Name

Planting of the first White Pine tree by Curtis Zunigha from the Lenape Center of the Lenape peoples & Marylee Smunitee Jones from the Yakama Nation.
Together with the local community the first Miyawaki forest in NYC is created.
Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)
Together with over 300 people the forest was created.
Red Cedar
Hello NYC, We Love You.
From above: Roosevelt Island & Manhattan skyline
All in symbiosis.
Left to Right: Ethan Bryson, Curtis Zunigha, Marylee Smunitee Jones & Family, Travis, Elise Van Middelem and Christina Delfico
A day to remember!
Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) — Known as the tree of great peace, a uniter of tribes, and force of light & endurance, the white pine is also revered as the giant of the eastern forests, capable of reaching up to 200 feet. Their branches and needles serve as nesting and roosting spots, while large cones provide seeds for nearly 40 species of birds.
Beach Plum (Prunus maritima) — A staple summertime food rich in antioxidants and containing antibacterial properties, Beach Plum has many health benefits. Considered endangered in several States, the beach plum also provides shelter and habitat for the Glossy ibis.
New York Fern (Thelypteris noveboracensis) — Ferns are important for forest ecosystems, serving as microhabitats, which provide perfect cover for toads and vital food source for moths and caterpillars like the Pink-shaded Fern Moth. Deciduous ferns like the New York Fern help stabilize soil in the winter until the fronds return in the spring.
White Oak (Quercus alba) — A sacred protector tree, revered for its food and medicine by the Lenape and many other tribal communities. White oak acorns provide sustenance for over 100 species of birds and mammals, as well as numerous butterflies and caterpillars. Some ònàxkwimënshi have been known to live to 600 years.
Shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) — This large deciduous tree offers ample shade and sweet edible nuts that can be enjoyed by both humans and wildlife. Shagbark hickory also attracts butterflies and moths, such as the Banded Hairstreak butterflies and Luna moth. Its sweet edible nuts can be enjoyed by local humans, squirrels and chipmunks.
Wild Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) — In the world of flora, the adaptive Wild Black Cherry is known as the silent architect of biodiversity, providing shelter and sustenance to many wildlife. Humans benefit from the bark, which is used to make cough medicine and has long been used as a natural medicine for colds and pneumonia.

“Creating this pocket forest is an invitation to understand how rebuilding soil health positively affects the health of all surrounding life. Using this tight-knit planting Miyawaki Method to strengthen root connections which in turn boosts tree growth exponentially mirrors how diverse communities can come close together now and do this. After all, New Yorkers understand crowded small spaces and if we can plant it here it can plant it anywhere.”

Christina Delfico, founder iDig2Learn.

We’re thrilled to collaborate on this project with:

"Lenape Center has been actively continuing Lenapehoking. The establishment of this pocket forest exemplifies the transformative and regenerative power that arises from collaboration."

— Lenape Center

Other Forests Nearby