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Hattie Carthan (1900-1984)

A mural depicting Hattie Carthan, a group of people, and flowers on a blue backdrop


#BIPOC Voices #Community Health #Figures in Sustainability #Historical Icons #Tree Planting


Taylor Heagler

A community and environmental advocate, Hattie Carthan spent her life improving the quality of life for her Bedford-Stuyvesant community in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Washington, DC, Carthan moved to Bedford-Stuyvesant in 1953 and within ten years, her community had been so dismantled that only three trees remained in the neighborhood. She made it her mission to bring nature back into her community, sending out postcards and having block parties to raise funds for tree planting. Carthan founded the Bedford-Stuyvesant Beautification Committee in 1966, which led a youth outreach program to provide stipend-paid summer work in tree care, known as the Neighborhood Tree Corps. Her work on supporting her community still lives on, thanks to Yvonnette Fleming, a black woman who started the Hattie Carthan Community Market.

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