Central Park was badly impacted by Hurricane Sandy, more than 800 trees were destroyed or damaged in the storm, but the damage paled compared to the devastation in other areas of New York City. We asked the New York City Parks Department how we could help. They told us their biggest priority was removing large trees – trees so large they could only be removed by cranes – that had fallen on homes in Staten Island. Until these trees are removed from homes, power cannot be restored and other recovery efforts cannot begin.
On Saturday, November 3, Neil Calvanese, the Conservancy's Vice President for Operations, and Russell Fredericks, Chief of Operations, headed out to the north shore of Staten Island with a Conservancy contractor to survey damage. The next day, Joshua Galiley, the Conservancy's Tree Care Supervisor, returned with the contractor and a crane to begin removal of massive trees from people's homes. "They were complicated removals," Neil explained. In addition to their size and entanglement of some trees with power lines, some cut through roofs and other parts of homes. The Conservancy removed nine trees in total.
Members of the Conservancy staff have also been helping in Fort Tryon Park in Manhattan to clear fallen trees from paths. We’re gratified to be able to lend a hand to neighborhoods beyond Central Park, and hope our assistance contributes to a speedy recovery throughout the five boroughs.