When a Tree Falls... Run

11/02/2011 05:49 pm ET | Updated Jan 02, 2012
  • Susan Sawyers former BloombergEDU producer, former foundation director, curator, mother of two, wife of one

Central Park's Perfect Storm

Saturday's combination of wet, heavy snow, leafy trees and high winds was the perfect storm. Close to 400 acres, half of Central Park, were affected and nearly 1,000 trees will be lost as a result according to an email I received from Doug Blonsky, the president of the Central Park Conservancy. There's something so sad about tree loss. Like a friend or parent dying, you can't bring back the dead. And for many of us, trees are our friends.

I wandered through the Park early Monday to the sound of saws buzzing, wood chippers grinding and blue jays cawing. Conservancy tree crews were out in full force. Adrian Benepe, commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, surveyed the scene. Every tree that lost branches or limbs in the storm will be inspected to determine if selective pruning or total removal is necessary one gray clad Conservancy worker told me. The damage is striking and estimated to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Tuesday morning, I meandered through the Park again. And again, to the same sounds. This time, together with the Conservancy folks, there were many more workers on site. A lot of people were preparing the place for Sunday's New York City Marathon. Same as it ever was, life in New York City's parks goes on. Especially when it comes to 23,000 trees and 60,000 marathon registrants.

Central Park as a Backdrop to the New York City Marathon Finish