Sunday, September 18, 2011
Parks needs more sensitive contractors
September 13, 2011
Commissioner Liam Kavanagh
NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
The Arsenal, Central Park
830 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10065
Members of the Kissena Park Civic Association, Flushing and the greater community have been asked to be stewards of Kissena Park - and so we alert you of some disturbing behavior by a NYC DPR tree contractor and their DPR management supervision.
On Saturday, September 10 a day after torrential rains that left the grassy landscape wet and soggy Dom's Tree Service and Wood Resource Recovery (Ocala FLA) staged a tree damage clean-up effort upon wet and soggy tree occupied soils. This operation occurred with authorization and supervision by Kissena Park M&O management. The attached photos reveal impacts not just to lawn area but compaction of soils and damage to the wide spreading and unseen root zones by heavy equipment. The trees impacted are several Samuel Parsons heritage trees and other current tree species. We are concerned because established mature trees growing in open landscapes have root systems that extend large distances beyond the tree drip-line and that the compaction of those root occupied soils will have a negative impact to whole tree health. We are reminded here of the 2004 NYC DPR Capital Kissena Park Lake Reconstruction project where DPR engineer(s) allowed a DPR contractor to utilize lawn areas for staging and storage of equipment and materials resulting in needless damages to parkland trees.
Despite hearing that the protection and preservation of public trees is a paramount concern by New York's Greenest, we continue to see a blatant disregard for those very trees (under the jurisdiction by NYC DPR) that we have placed such high value and regard. What is disturbing is the incorrigible behavior by DPR management who show poor judgement when it comes to our public tree assets. A park manager with a sound skill set would have simply directed this operation off of the lawn area.
To address the long-term health concerns of the heritage trees and to mitigate the damages by heavy equipment, remediation of tree root zones is duly needed. With the tree care technology currently available the KPCA wishes to see the root zones of these trees restored by pneumatic air-spade (to reduce the negative health impacts from soil compaction) followed by soil amendment, Rhizofuel, mulch and irrigation. This action should be performed by vetted certified arborists with supervision.
We acknowledge the potential by the Agency to do the right thing here and await a response with an effective plan of action from New York’s Greenest.
Kissena Park Civic Association