The Conservancy response to the damage caused by the surprise Halloween snowstorm continues, with work expected to last through the end of the year. Conservancy staff worked hard to clear the damage in time for the 2011 ING NYC Marathon, taking pride in getting Central Park's famous finish line ready for nearly 50,000 runners.
There's a lot of work to be done: Conservancy staff are steadily pruning and removing severely damaged trees, including the beautiful Callery pear trees that encircled the statue of General William Tecumseh Sherman on Grand Army Plaza. The plaza's trees will be replanted; the Conservancy is still determining the design and species that will replace the lost trees.
The snowstorm on Saturday, October 29 damaged nearly 400 acres in Central Park – almost half of the Park's 843 acres. The combination of extremely wet, heavy snow, fully leafed trees and high winds proved to be a devastating combination for the Park's trees.
The destruction is staggering: we estimate that at least 1,000 trees will be lost as a result of this storm. The Halloween storm comes on the heels of Hurricane Irene, but is far more extensive and severe than what we witnessed in August. The damage in the Park is focused south of 86th Street, which is by far the most visited section of the Park.
Conservancy tree crews are inspecting every tree that lost branches or limbs in the storm to determine if selective pruning or total removal is necessary. Their assessment began over the weekend, and will continue through the rest of the year. Please help us restore New York City's backyard.
There's a long road to recovery ahead of us, with the damage estimated at hundreds of thousands of dollars. Your partnership is vital to the Conservancy's success. Please help us weather this storm by making a donation to the Conservancy's recovery and restoration, which will continue well into spring 2012.