Event: Stop Privatization of Public Space/Protect Our Trees – Arbor Day; Fri April 25 Union Sq Park

Street Artists, Activists, Community Members, Public Space and Free Speech Advocates (Everyone Invited) Gather to Protect Our Trees and Protest Privatization of Public Space

In Honor of Arbor (Tree) Day Friday April 25th

When: Friday, April 25th, 6-8 p.m.

Where: UNION SQUARE PARK, 14th Street betw. Union Sq East and Union Sq West by Gandhi Statue, Manhattan

Despite Mayor Bloomberg’s hyping of his “MillionTreesNYC” P.R. initiative, thousands of mature trees have been cut down in all five boroughs at our City’s Parks, mostly in the interest of privatization of public space, which has dramatically increased under Mayor Bloomberg.

Under the Bloomberg Administration and NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, the plans (stopped at the moment by a Temporary Restraining Order) move forward for Union Square Park to lose a large portion of its public space and 13 mature trees in order to accommodate a private restauranteur.

Since Friday, April 25th is Arbor Day, a day in which we celebrate, nurture, and plant trees (the first Arbor Day took place in 1872), we thought it a perfect day to look at Mayor Bloomberg’s true legacy on trees in our city, particularly in our Parks.

As Union Square Park is the latest Park being descended upon by the Bloomberg Administration, we plan to gather there.



Mayor Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe’s intention is to privatize Union Square Park, thereby reducing the famous GreenMarket, as well as artist and free speech zones, cutting down 13 MATURE TREES, in order to create restaurant space in the historic Pavilion
on the north end for restauranteur Danny Meyer (co-chair of the local BID, business improvement district, Union Square Partnership). Street Artists and Free speech protesters are at risk as the space becomes further privatized and constricted during construction and afterwards.


*Washington Square Park11 mature trees have been destroyed in order to “align” the famous fountain with the historic Arch (no matter that they’d been unaligned for over a century). Naming rights to the Fountain sold by the City to the TISCH Family. More are headed for the chopping block.

*Randall’s Island Thousands of trees have been slaughtered to privatize sports fields on Randall’s Island. Parks Commissioner Benepe and Mayor Bloomberg were hoping to privatize entirely this 273 acre park and give the majority of access to 20 private schools within New York City. (A lawsuit stopped this aspect of their privatization scheme.)

*Yankee Stadium400 trees were chopped down from TWO Parks in the Bronx (which desperately needs parks) which were destroyed to make way for the new Yankee Stadium.

*East River ParkOver 105 trees axed to “reconstruct” the East River Park.

*Highland Park/Ridgewood ReservoirThousands of trees are on the chopping block with Parks Commissioner Benepe’s plans to destroy the natural landscape and habitat here to install dangerous artificial turf in this spot on the Brooklyn/Queens border.

Let’s stop the Bloomberg Administration’s continuous privatizing of our public space while destroying our City’s mature trees.

Leave a comment


  1. Ben

     /  April 23, 2008

    I propose that there be an “un-naming ceremony” to counter the eventual naming ceremony of the Tisch Fountain in Washington Square Park. Or, maybe we can rename it “schiT fountain” I think they’d appreciate that.

  2. cat

     /  April 23, 2008

    Hi Ben. Now there’s an idea. I like the idea of “un-naming.” It’s hard for me to imagine (although why, I don’t know) them actually having the audacity to *have* a naming ceremony but you are right it’s probably eventual – and inevitable. Renaming it … also another way to go … it’s the second time this has come up (although different ‘names’ proposed). Pretty clever, same letters.


  3. nadira

     /  August 25, 2008

    how is cutting trees related to our space? anyways, chopping trees is not good, it’s like really bad…we have to stop cutting trees so that we can protect our space.but i still don’t know how cutting trees is related to our space…hmmm…:D…

  4. Putz

     /  December 25, 2008

    Privatization encourages the preservation and maintenance of property, this is applicable to all forms of space both natural and urban. Public property has always shown itself to be less efficient and only promote stagnation. Public property encourages a tragedy of the commons, just look at Needle Park, as people abuse and are unwilling to maintain property they have no stake in. Privatization is not always a terrible thing, as long as it isn’t privatized in an irresponsible manner that closes the park to the public and doesn’t turn the park into a purely commercial space.

  1. Spring in Washington Square Park - The Park is Bustling. What Happens Next? « Washington Square Park
  2. Time Magazine Believes Mayor Bloomberg’s Tree Hype « Washington Square Park
  3. More old trees cut down at Union Square Park « Washington Square Park
  4. Today’s NY Times: Save Ridgewood Reservoir from NYC Parks Department « Washington Square Park
  5. Have You Seen This Man? « Sal Gentile

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: