Stay with the Nuisance: Protocol 05

Noxious Nuisance: Recultivating Policies of Care. This protocol invites you to research the policies and codes that impact multispecies life in the habitats you investigated in Protocols 01-03. With policy research in hand, you'll return to the street to share what you've learned with the plants, and ask for their guidance in adjusting or re-writing the policy to account for the importance of reciprocal plant-human care practices.


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Participate: Stay with the Nuisance: Protocol 05

Policy sleuth: Conduct and review research on local policies, regulations, or informal community codes that determine how green spaces are maintained in your location. If you need assistance, use this search guide to help you find a local policy in your area.

Review and sit with the information you find. Take a screenshot of the policy. Upload it here.

Return to one of the tree pits you identified in Protocol 01. Read the policy you found aloud to the plants and organisms in your tree pit. Walk the perimeter and extend your hand to meet with your plant neighbors. Together with the plants, ask: Is this green space in violation of the municipal code or policy?  Is there anything noxious or harmful about the space? Is it a nuisance? If so, for whom and why? Sit with the plants and listen for their response.

After receiving input from the multispecies community of the tree pit, develop a revision of the policy using the plants’ perspective for guidance. Create a representation—a new written text, drawing, or diagram—and upload an image here.


  • andrea from Lenapehocking land, Brooklyn, NY
  • Ellie, Mohican land, Troy, NY, USA
  • Ellie, Mohican land, Troy, NY, USA
  • Chris from from Lenapehocking land, Brooklyn, NY
  • Chris from from Lenapehocking land, Brooklyn, NY

Further action

World Urban Parks #NatureNeverCloses

World Urban Parks has created Pathways to Recovery: Wellbeing and Resilience.  This living document is an international guide of resources, insights and community perspectives to help connect park agencies, community organizations, individuals, cities, and park conservancies to better navigate a path toward recovery, equity, wellbeing, social justice and resilience in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sign the Petition

Is your state fighting to control transportation-related emissions?

Global temperatures are on target to rise at least 3°C (5.4 ° F) by 2100. On March 31, 2020, while the country was in lockdown due to the Covid19 pandemic, the US EPA passed a rule relaxing fuel efficiency standards through 2026 (based on spurious science). Transportation related greenhouse gas emissions will continue to rise as Americans get on the road again. While Federal agencies fail us, states are fighting to regulate emissions more aggressively. Twenty-two states have sued the EPA.

Is your state one of them?

U.S. EPA is trying to omit vital Public Health Data- Tell them what you think!

In early March 2020, the U.S. EPA announced further amendments to it’s “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” policy proposal, which has been dubbed the “Censor Science Rule” by the scientific community, as it disqualifies all anonymous medical data – effectively the data that measures the health impact of environmental pollution.  We now know that the respiratory illness caused by Covid19 has brought the unsettling correlation between death rates and the POC and immigrant communities most exposed to environmental pollution further to light. 

ADD YOUR VOICE TO THE PUBLIC COMMENTS: Due to continued pushback on this proposal commenting is extended until May 18th. Visit to give a public comment, search by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OA–2018–0259.

Sent a comment to the US EPA

Don’t let the U.S. EPA get away with using the pandemic as an open license to pollute

Good Air quality is key for both humans and nonhumans alike. On March 26th, 2020, the U.S. EPA released a letter titled “COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program”, announcing that it would not be enforcing its compliance regulations, giving industry a pass to pollute freely during this global health crisis. Former US EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, called it “an open license to pollute.”

TAKE ACTION: Sign the NRDC Petition

How are bird and multispecies communities being impacted by US EPA rollbacks?

This March the U.S. EPA gutted the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which now no longer holds individuals or companies (for example real estate companies) accountable for the incidental killing of migratory birds. In New York City, 90,000 birds collide with buildings every year, many of these are migratory birds, as the city is located on a major migratory pathway. One more reason to stand up against massive real estate developments in the city! 

MAKE A PROTEST POSTER FOR YOUR WINDOW! And if you happen to live in a highrise, or any building with glass:

Use this Template to Help the Birds See the Glass

We want real climate justice policy! What Energy Policy would your Street Tree Endorse? 

In 2017 former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a notice proposing a repeal of the Clean Power Plan, which requires utilities to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. The rule was replaced in 2019 with the “Affordable Clean Energy” (ACE) rule which weakens emissions standards. The U.S. EPA, over the past 4 years, has rolled back over 95 rules put in place to protect environmental health, supporting the interests of the coal, gas, and oil industries, along with Big Agriculture. How has this changed the role and pressure we place on so-called green infrastructure? What kind of energy policy would street trees endorse? Read about the Red New Deal, and A Peoples Climate Plan for NYC.

Read the Peoples Climate Plan for NYC

 Almost ⅔ of Earth’s biodiversity is bacterial. How do we deconstruct and unlearn human supremacy?

The U.S. EPA endorses the use of powerful herbicides and pesticides like glyphosate (Round Up) and chlorpyrifos. In 2019, the U.S. EPA announced that it would not ban chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide that its own experts have linked to serious health problems in children, and farmworkers. Now more than ever our food supply depends on supporting and protecting farmworkers.

Visit Beyond Pesticides to learn more.

Tell Congress to provide essential benefits to essential workers