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

Dear Commissioner,

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.

Thank you.

Kissena Park Civic Association


Anonymous said...

Commissioners are political appointees. What do they care?

Anonymous said...

THe Parks Dept are responsible for this - they have millions of Park Managers who should all be on the hook for their respective parks. Now that photo shows the extensive lawn damage that should never had occurred in the first palace if there was someone over-seeing the contractor. But the damage is done and the contractor should repair or pay for the damaged they caused. The Parks Dept ultimately must be responsible for what occurs inside their parks especially when the contractors they select or hire are at fault! Head should be rolling at the Parks Dept or those same heads running after the contractor to make good or respect Parks property when earning a fee inside the Park .

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it is the same people, but they did the same thing at Powells Cove Park in College Point. Whole areas of grass are torn up and are just fields of mud now. It looks like a complete mess. These guys should be responisble for repairing the damage.

Anonymous said...

The company that did this is obviously incompetent and doesn't really care.

The first person is correct here - why don't you contact the community board and the local electeds about this and record their response.

Specifically ask if anyone that did this work is somehow related to Tammany Hall or makes campaign contributions.

Follow the money.

Simply writing a letter to the Arsenal will get trashed.

Anonymous said...

Dom's gavones were in Bowne Park this past weekend and left their tire trails all over the grass...uh, weeds.

Anonymous said...

Only ones that weigh less than their commissioner.

Anonymous said...

I have found that DPR park "landscape" managers to be a mixed bag. Some are real good and devoted to the public good but others are loosers, loosers completely by lacking judgement and interpersonal skills. Yet they remain in their respective positions protected by the upper tier of that Agency. Seeing this damage done, I wonder if that manager knows how to manage the landscape and if not, what is he doing there? We'd be better off if he is reassigned to a paved playground in East Bushwick or simply sacked.