How do you define hypocrisy, Mayor Bloomberg? 14 Union Square Trees Scheduled to Come Down

This photo of a “MillionTreesNYC” very green promotional set-up was taken on April 28th on Union Square Plaza at the South End. “MillionTreesNYC” is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s environmental plans to add a million trees in New York City by year 2030. I view it as mostly p.r.

Time Magazine was so taken by Mayor Bloomberg‘s efforts that they named him one of the most influential people in the world in their last issue and took a picture of our CEO Mayor outside City Hall – in a tree!

However, in a matter of days, at the North end of Union Square Park, fourteen mature trees will be chopped down under the direction of Mayor Bloomberg and NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

My belief was that the trees had been spared by the latest court decision but unfortunately I was incorrect.

According to Parks Commissioner Benepe and the Union Square Partnership(the business improvement district which has tremendous influence over Union Square Park), in order to construct an expanded playground and possibly a restaurant, the City — rather than save the mature trees and incorporate them into the design plan — has decided to level them. If you ask Parks Commissioner Benepe, as I have, he will undoubtedly say … we’re planting more. (Saplings – baby trees, by the way.) But that is not the answer.

At Washington Square Park, eleven mature trees have been felled thus far under the City’s redesign “plans” which aim to “align” the famous Fountain with the historic Arch. At Randall’s Island, thousands have been slaughtered in the interest of privatizing that space. Mulally and Macombs Parks in the Bronx were sacrificed by the Parks Department and the City to make way for a new Yankee Stadium: 400 trees were axed in the process. East River Park‘s “reconstruction” included the destruction of 105 trees. At Highland Park/Ridgewood Reservoir on the Brooklyn-Queens border, Parks Commissioner Benepe hopes to chop down thousands of trees to put in artificial turf.

The protection of our urban environment should be coming FROM the Parks Department.

The Union Square Trees are next on the Bloomberg Administration’s chopping block. How do we stop these trees from being unnecessarily destroyed?


hy*poc*ri*sy: n 1: a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not

(Source: Webster’s Dictionary)

Time Magazine Believes Mayor Bloomberg’s Tree Hype

Does all the media believe Mayor Bloomberg’s “I’m a tree hugger” spin?

According to Thursday’s (5-1) New York Post, Time Magazine will include Mayor Bloomberg in their 100 Most Influential People In the World issue coming out May 2nd. Time asked Mayor Bloomberg to pose on a tree branch outside of City Hall (which he was more than happy to do clearly, via a cherry picker which lifted him up to that branch) to “illustrate his commitment to environmental issues.” What’s more… Robert Kennedy Jr. wrote the accompanying piece! It’s a bit troubling when the “experts” don’t look beyond the p.r. to get the real story.

For a refresher on the destruction of our City’s trees under Mayor Bloomberg and NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, click here.

Coming up — Part II of my conversation with Parks Commissioner Benepe: what he thinks about community input, and some confusion on his part about the fact that neither district Community Board has “approved” his plans for the redesigns of Washington Square Park and Union Square Park, more.