The reservoir's historic structures & ecosystems are an opportunity to create a unique environmental education center for our children & their future.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Department of Parks tree record

When stories such as the following from "Metro NY" appear in print, it should cause great concern among the communities that surround Highland Park and the Ridgewood Reservoir. Is there any method available to New York City residents and the NYC City Council that can prevent the department of parks from doing, pretty much, anything that they want to do, because there doesn't appear to be. Can and will they start development in the reservoir basins despite the community's objections, without the proper permits and then just blame it on the contractors?

City has no count on felled trees
by patrick arden / metro new york

APR 14, 2008

MANHATTAN. Mayor Bloomberg has declared April MillionTreesNYC Month, part of his highly publicized initiative to plant one million new trees by 2017. Yet Thursday, city attorney Susan Shapiro couldn’t answer a judge’s questions about how many trees have been cut down for the controversial sports fields project on Randall’s Island.

“The city doesn’t know the number of trees, because the contractors never got a permit,” claimed Geoffrey Croft of NYC Park Advocates, who cites sources close to the project. He estimates that thousands were cut down.

“You need a permit to remove a tree,” said former Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, who pushed for a city law against the illegal destruction of trees, or “arborcide.” “People could be fined up to $15,000 and it can extend to a short term in jail,” Stern said.

Contractors are required to have forestry permits issued by the Parks Department before removing trees, Stern said. But the department has refused repeated requests by Metro for the Randall’s Island forestry permits.

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