Central Park “Conservancy Under Fire” After Large Elm Tree Falls, Injuring Two People

At Central Park, a large Elm tree fell on a family of four on Tuesday; a mother and her child were seriously hurt. The City Parks Department pointed to the Central Park Conservancy saying the private organization which runs that park was “responsible” for the tree’s maintenance.  The New York Post pointedly covered the story with the print edition headline: “Conservancy under Fire.” It was later amended online to read: “Central Park workers under fire after horrific tree incidents.” There have been a number of tragic tree falling incidents like this since 2009 at the uptown park.

In another Post article from Wednesday, the paper noted: “The city pays the Central Park Conservancy $2 million a year, plus a cut of vendor profits, to care for all the trees in its eponymous park.”

From the New York Post:

A slew of horrific tree-related incidents have occurred in Central Park, and their victims have blamed parks workers for some of them.

Personal-injury claims brought against the city by those hurt or killed by falling trees have asserted that workers for the Central Park Conservancy, the private group responsible for maintaining the green space, let dangerous trees slip through the cracks.

Google engineer Sasha Blair-Goldensohn — who won an $11.5 million settlement — sued after a falling branch partially severed his spine in 2009, and investigators found that park officials reportedly had identified the offending tree — but never trimmed it.

A parks supervisor thought his workers “got” the tree — but they only “got” his e-mail flagging the tree, according to media reports at the time.

The conservancy did not return repeated requests for comment from The Post on Tuesday, after a massive elm crashed down on a mother and her three young children.

The tree was about 40 yards from where Blair-Goldensohn was hit, according to published reports.

See more pictures and background – and how people nearby helped out !! – at A Walk in the Park Blog.

Manhattan Community Board 8 Asserts Itself: Expresses "Outrage" Over Parks Department Installation of Mobile Food Carts at Tavern on the Green space; Behind-the-Scenes Deal

From the list serve , “1000+ Friends,” that keeps many of us informed on Parks/Parks Department issues, news that Manhattan Community Board 8 — blindsided by NYC Parks Department actions which kept them in the dark, and, in fact, misinformed them on what would be coming to the former Tavern on The Green space — issued a resolution expressing their “outrage” over the decision to place mobile food trucks in the Central Park space, contrary to what was previously presented as their plans.

Just a note that Community Board 2’s Parks Committee often hides behind the oft quoted statement “community boards are just advisory,” but, of course, the body can always issue resolutions which are submitted to the City Council and the media to raise awareness of issues like this one.

And certainly more than a few issues were raised at the last Parks Committee meeting earlier this month in relation to Washington Square Park – but more on that another day.

From 1000+ Friends:


Fans of the old time gaudy excess at the Tavern On the Green are definitely not happy with what’s been happening at there lately. In fact, they’ve resolved to oppose it — or at least look for some more facts amid the lack of fancy.

Witness the following resolution was passed by Manhattan Community Board 8 at its last full Board meeting:

RESOLUTION: WHEREAS the Parks Dept. failed to inform Community Board 8 about the renovations to the Tavern on the Green site, which is a landmarked structure in a landmarked park; and

WHEREAS the Parks Dept., without any consultation to the Community Board 8, awarded contracts to food vendors who will sell cooked food from unattractive and potentially polluting trucks at the Tavern on the Green site, in contrast to plans presented to Community Board 8 for vending via specialty carts; and

WHEREAS the Parks Dept. ignored Community Board 8’s July 2010 resolution asking the Department to

Read more…