New Yorkers for Parks Awarded NYU’s Grounds Manager George Reis the Manhattan Borough Daffodil Award this morning.
“We are delighted to honor George Reis at our annual Daffodil Breakfast,” said Lynn Kelly, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks and NYU alum, CAS ’94, WAG ’98. “His dedication to public horticulture and healthy urban ecosystems benefits the students he works with and the entire Greenwich Village community, and truly embodies the spirit of the Daffodil Project.”
“It's very gratifying to be recognized for work we've done in the past here at NYU, but it's even more exciting to look ahead toward the continued improvement of our open greenspaces that this sort of award will help motivate in the future,” said Reis, who has been with the University since in 1995.
Reis developed his passion for public horticulture while tending to the myriad of urban greenspaces throughout NYU’s campus. According to Reis he started trying new plants that he hadn’t seen throughout the city and was struck by how many New Yorkers would stop and ask about the plants.
“It takes a lot to stop a New Yorker dead in his tracks on the sidewalk, so I really enjoyed being able to answer their questions with the scientific name of the plant and its key attributes.”
After a few small projects, Reis was hooked on horticulture and began a journey with the support of his colleagues to bring serious and sustainable horticulture to NYU. The mission of the Daffodil Project aligns perfectly with his work in public sustainable landscaping, and NYU has participated in the Project since it’s founding in 2001. Every year, students from area grade schools and pre-k programs participate in daffodil bulb plantings in the fall, getting a hands-on education in the benefits of urban gardening.
Reis says the urban campus presents its own challenges and opportunities, but he’s especially grateful to be a part of the university community.
“Over the years, I've gotten mounds of gratitude and support from the campus and surrounding community who so appreciate the way plant life softens and dignifies the hard lines of the cityscape,” said Reis. He continued, “I'm also very fortunate to be part of an academic community where so many students and faculty have found a common interest in our urban landscape work. With so many connections to the humanities, natural sciences, and even the social sciences, it's no accident that universities are home to some of the world's premier botanical collections. Nobody expects that sort of thing at NYU, which is why it's so fun when they notice that sensibility here.”
About the NYU Office of Sustainability--NYU launched its sustainability efforts in 2006 with the creation of Sustainability Task Force formed by faculty, students, staff and administration to galvanize NYU community to plan and take action towards sustainability in the way we live, operate, educate and innovate. The Office of Sustainability implements infrastructure projects, communication and engagement campaigns, and innovative programs to empower, inspire and guide the NYU community to achieve our goals for sustainable practices and culture. For more information on the NYU Office of Sustainability, please visit www.nyu.edu/sustainability