Thursday, April 25, 2013

Port Authority & Parks Dept may cut down 700 trees at Idlewild Park

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

There will be a press conference about the Port Authority's tree removal plan in Idlewild Park Preserve on Friday, April 26, 2013, at 6:00 PM by the Idlewild Cricket Field in located at 223rd Street and 149th Avenue. Please join us!

As we previously informed you, the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey (PANYNJ) has flagged 400+ trees in Idlewild for removal. In fact, they have been in negotiation with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation (NYCDPR) to remove the trees. Half of the trees they claim are current hazards to aviation. The other half they claim will need to be removed if the runway is extended. We ask: Is this to be believed?

Why now? Why are over half of the trees in question suddenly considered a hazard? In the over ten years that we have been working to restore and preserve Idlewild, no one has ever said the tree height has been a problem. We have planted trees, shrubs, blazed trails, conducted workshops and tours for children and adults. Tree height has never been mentioned. PANYNJ has never in the past approached the community or EQA's Idlewild Park Preservation Committee about tree height, or the need to remove or top trees? So we ask: Why now? What FAA criteria, rules, or guidelines dictate that suddenly 395 trees are now too tall, or is it really the proposed runway extension driving the PANYNJ's call for tree removal? In fact, if so many trees are in the way of aircraft as they now take off or land at JFK airport, this points up how low airplanes are actually flying over our community and the park. How low can aircraft fly over our community without negatively impacting us? How low is too low? Is Idlewild considered just an extension of the JFK runways rather than the valuable ecological preserve that it is? We need answers! We need the PANYNJ to provide documented proof of their claims!

It is important that you attend this press conference. The issues will be presented, updates will be given, but more importantly, you, a member of the community, will be given a chance to voice your concerns, to let everyone know where you stand!

Barbara Brown, Chairperson
Eastern Queens Alliance Inc.


Anonymous said...

In looking at google earth t appears the only possible issue with tree height would be with runway 22L. And there appears to be hardly any trees in that area.
Some has some splaining to do.

B. E. Brown said...

Correction: As stated our letter, the PANYNJ flagged 700+ trees in Idlewild Park for removal.