Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"New trees in game plan for Stadium" in Daily News, 4/12/6

New trees in game plan for Stadium


Nearly 400 mature trees are going to get the ax to make way for the new Yankee Stadium - although the city vows to replace them with up to 12,000 young trees.

A Parks Department spokesman, Ashe Reardon, said yesterday that the replacement trees will be "of all different sizes and shapes" and will cost about $14 million.

The tree replacement plan was cited by Joshua Laird, chief of planning for the Parks Department, during testimony Monday at a City Council hearing on the financing arrangement for the $1.2 billion plan to build a new Yankee Stadium. Plans call for the new ballpark on appropriated parkland next to the Yankees' current South Bronx home.

Laird said the intention is to replace removed trees "wood for wood" with an equivalent amount of trees, not just one sapling for each adult tree that is removed.

As with other aspects of the multifaceted stadium plan, the tree removal cuts against the grain with opposition groups - who have yet to give up their fight to block the new stadium.

"By their own admission, the replacement trees won't reach maturity for 15 to 20 years," said Geoffrey Croft, president of the nonprofit group New York City Park Advocates and a leading stadium opponent. "And even then, they won't reach the size of the trees that will be chopped down - some of them have been there for 75 years."

The City Council has approved the land-use measures needed by the stadium plan and is expected to approve the issuance of $930 million in financing bonds on April 26.

Croft said the parkland aspect still needs approval from the National Park Service, which contributed some $220,000 to upgrading Macombs Dam Park in 1979. The money came with conditions requiring that "like recreational land" be provided if any portion of the park is alienated for other uses, Croft said.

The city has said it would provide more than 22 acres of replacement parkland and recreational facilities surrounding the new stadium.

Reardon, the city parks spokesman, confirmed approval from the National Park Service is being sought.

"We're definitely working with them and are hoping for their approval," Reardon commented.

Phil Sheridan, a spokesman for the National Park Service's regional office in Philadelphia, said there have been "ongoing discussions" with city and state officials. But he couldn't predict the outcome or the timing of a decision.

Originally published on April 12, 2006


At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And where in that community are you going to plant twelve THOUSAND trees? If you plant 10 on a block, that's 1,200 blocks. What, are they going to plant them on top of each other? What a scam...


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