NYC Parks Department: No record of number of trees felled at Randall’s Island

Metro NY reporter Patrick Arden reported Monday that New York City has no record of the number of trees felled at Randall’s Island for the “controversial sports fields” run by private corporations they are pushing to place there. The city is currently in court over this issue. It is estimated that thousands of trees were destroyed on Randall’s Island.

“Contractors are required to have forestry permits issued by the Parks Department before removing trees,” the article states. This information is provided by Henry Stern, former NYC Parks Commissioner prior to Adrian Benepe. Current Parks Commissioner Benepe seems to take any opportunity to cut down trees, particularly if it provides a way to privatize public space.

Metro has been trying to obtain the forestry permits but the Parks Department has refused their requests.

At Washington Square Park, the document that went out for contractors’ Bids had a blank space where the Forestry Department’s sign-off was supposed to be. Eleven 50-to-100 year old trees have been cut down at Washington Square Park thus far. No one knows what the total number will be.

Doesn’t this call for oversight of Mayor Bloomberg’s Parks Department? There needs to be a moratorium on their tree destruction and some careful thought as to how we utilize our public space — in ways that benefit people, not corporations.

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2 thoughts on “NYC Parks Department: No record of number of trees felled at Randall’s Island”

  1. It’s clear that the battle lines are drawn – between the corporate interests of the Bloomberg Administration and the people to prevent the decimation of our public parks…

    I urge anyone interested in helping to stop the Parks Department’s arborcide of our parks to please join with us in our fight at Highland Park and the Ridgewood Reservoir (on the Brookyn/Queens border) before Commissioner Benepe and his minions are able to destroy a place of sheer beauty – a true verdant jewel in the midst of the concrete and asphalt of the City…

    Please contact me if you want to join us in out fight against City Hall and the arrogant NYC Department of Parks and Recreation…we plan to conduct tours in the very near future for the community and everyone is invited to join us…

    We must mobilize and stand as one, before it’s too late…the parks belong to us and is our legacy to our children and future generations of New Yorkers…

    Please contact me at my email address: quintana.david at gmail dot com..

    Thanking you all in advance for your prompt and kind cooperation in this matter…

  2. Hi David,

    I agree re: mobilizing all together on this very important issue. The more light we can shine on this, the better. Also some City Council oversight!

    I’d love to go on a tour whenever you organize one.

    There may be something going on at Union Square next week. I’ll post details soon.

    Thanks.

    cathryn.

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