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Our Time Press Remembers… Hattie Carthan and Herbert Von King

This April Earth Month and on the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day, next Friday, April 29, Our Time Press salutes Hattie Carthan (1901 –1984) and Herbert Von King (1914-1996). Ms. Carthan, founder of the Magnolia Tree Earth Center of Bedford Stuyvesant (MTEC), is considered Brooklyn’s First Lady of Tree Education. MTEC, located at 677-679 Lafayette Avenue, is the protector of New York City’s only Living Landmark, the 40ft. tall Magnolia Grandiflora. Directly across the street from the Center is the 7.8-acre Herbert Von King Park, named for the late “Mayor of Bedford-Stuyvesant”.

Ms. Carthan and Mr. King, seen in this picture taken in 1978, served their Brooklyn community for nearly a combined 100 years of active community leadership: he, in politics and business, and she, as an advocate for urban ecology awareness. Both community icons were instrumental in the planting of 1,500 trees in the Bed-Stuy area, and dozens of gardens in former vacant lots before the advent of the national urban green awareness and beautification movements.