New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe is responsible for the felling of eleven 50-to-100 year old trees at Washington Square Park thus far.
(The prominent tree in the center of this picture was axed by the Parks Department, as were all the wonderful trees that lined the fountain area.)
300-400 trees were destroyed from two Bronx Parks to create the new Yankee Stadium. Benepe has proposed killing 14 trees at Union Square Park to make additional room for an upscale restaurant. Yesterday, at the City Council hearings on the Parks Department budget, I discovered that he wants “thousands” of trees to hit the chopping block — according to activists in Queens — to put in the controversial and potentially dangerous artificial turf that he is such a fan of at Ridgewood Reservoir/Highland Park.
It makes me wonder — who determines who is a tree killing “madman?”
If one gives the order, yet doesn’t hold the ax, isn’t it the same?
See following story.
From the New York Daily News on March 16th…
Tree Killing ‘madman’ axes Inwood
Police and parks officials are hunting for a “madman” who chopped down 30 young red-cedar trees in Inwood Hill Park with an ax last week.
Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said this is the second case of arborcide in the upper Manhattan park.
“I have no idea why somebody would do it,” said Benepe. “It appears to be a serial tree killer. It’s a crime against nature.”
The trees were planted in 1996 as part of a plan to reestablish woodlands in the 196-acre park. Parks workers found the small trees, between 4 and 8 feet tall, on their sides Thursday.
“It’s really discouraging that a madman with an ax would deliberately kill trees,” Benepe said.
“It’s crushing,” said Jennifer Hoppa, administrator of Northern Manhattan Parks.
Police are investigating, and parks officials are posting flyers and offering a $500 reward.
Under the city’s “arborcide law,” anyone who damages, destroys or otherwise harms a street tree or park tree faces a $15,000 fine and up to one year in jail.
Anyone with information should call the 34th Precinct stationhouse at (212) 927-2640.
“But if you see somebody with an ax or a saw, call 911,” Benepe said.