Street Artists, Activists, Community Members, Public Space and Free Speech Advocates (Everyone Invited) Gather to Protect Our Trees and Protest Privatization of Public Space
In Honor of Arbor (Tree) Day Friday April 25th
When: Friday, April 25th, 6-8 p.m.
Where: UNION SQUARE PARK, 14th Street betw. Union Sq East and Union Sq West by Gandhi Statue, Manhattan
Despite Mayor Bloomberg’s hyping of his “MillionTreesNYC” P.R. initiative, thousands of mature trees have been cut down in all five boroughs at our City’s Parks, mostly in the interest of privatization of public space, which has dramatically increased under Mayor Bloomberg.
Under the Bloomberg Administration and NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, the plans (stopped at the moment by a Temporary Restraining Order) move forward for Union Square Park to lose a large portion of its public space and 13 mature trees in order to accommodate a private restauranteur.
Since Friday, April 25th is Arbor Day, a day in which we celebrate, nurture, and plant trees (the first Arbor Day took place in 1872), we thought it a perfect day to look at Mayor Bloomberg’s true legacy on trees in our city, particularly in our Parks.
As Union Square Park is the latest Park being descended upon by the Bloomberg Administration, we plan to gather there.
BRING ART, CREATE ART, DRESS UP.
Mayor Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe’s intention is to privatize Union Square Park, thereby reducing the famous GreenMarket, as well as artist and free speech zones, cutting down 13 MATURE TREES, in order to create restaurant space in the historic Pavilion
on the north end for restauranteur Danny Meyer (co-chair of the local BID, business improvement district, Union Square Partnership). Street Artists and Free speech protesters are at risk as the space becomes further privatized and constricted during construction and afterwards.
THE DESTRUCTION OF TREES THAT HAS OCCURRED IN NEW YORK CITY UNDER THE BLOOMBERG ADMINISTRATION INCLUDES:
*Washington Square Park – 11 mature trees have been destroyed in order to “align” the famous fountain with the historic Arch (no matter that they’d been unaligned for over a century). Naming rights to the Fountain sold by the City to the TISCH Family. More are headed for the chopping block.
*Randall’s Island – Thousands of trees have been slaughtered to privatize sports fields on Randall’s Island. Parks Commissioner Benepe and Mayor Bloomberg were hoping to privatize entirely this 273 acre park and give the majority of access to 20 private schools within New York City. (A lawsuit stopped this aspect of their privatization scheme.)
*Yankee Stadium – 400 trees were chopped down from TWO Parks in the Bronx (which desperately needs parks) which were destroyed to make way for the new Yankee Stadium.
*East River Park – Over 105 trees axed to “reconstruct” the East River Park.
*Highland Park/Ridgewood Reservoir – Thousands of trees are on the chopping block with Parks Commissioner Benepe’s plans to destroy the natural landscape and habitat here to install dangerous artificial turf in this spot on the Brooklyn/Queens border.
Let’s stop the Bloomberg Administration’s continuous privatizing of our public space while destroying our City’s mature trees.