The Parks Without Borders plan for Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn has not undergone environmental review as required under SEQRA. Nearby residents and regular users of the park have asked many questions that have not been answered, despite repeated FOIL requests for information about the environmental impact of removing so many large, mature trees. These effects include
• increases in asthma rates without the benefit of an extensive tree canopy to help remove air pollutants
• the broad impact on the habitat of birds and their flyways, other animals and especially pollinators
• an increase in the heat-island index
• increased CSOs from storm run-off.
How does this redesign of the park coordinate with New York City’s policy to increase storm resiliency?
How does it align with City policy to increase tree canopy by 30% by 2030, part of the effort to mitigate global warming?
“Calculating Tree Benefits for New York City” on NYCgovparks.com
, the NYC Parks Department website, states: “Benefits are directly linked to tree size.”
It also says: “A large healthy tree removes almost 70 times more air pollution each year than a small, newly planted tree.”
It will be many years before new trees can provide these benefits to the community.
Fifty-eight mature trees are marked for removal. Another 13 are likely to die soon after, due to the redesign of Fort Greene Park, according to arborist Dr. Carsten Glaeser.
Sierra Club, a national environmental organization with The Atlantic Chapter of New York State comprised of over 54,000 members, has brought this legal action because the City of New York has abdicated its responsibility as a steward of public land.