Parks Without Borders presenters have repeatedly described the north side of the park heavily used by residents as “underutilized", or "sparsely used.” This has caused outcry by residents at Community Input Meetings.

Parks Without Borders stated falsely that the north side of Fort Greene Park is sparsely used.

Parks Without Borders false statement

Walt Whitman and Fort Greene Park

Walt Whitman (1819-1892), the chief editor at the time of the Brooklyn Eagle and King’s County Democrat, rallied popular support for the project. Whitman appealed for a pleasant retreat for city dwellers, “a place of recreation… where, on hot summer evenings, and Sundays, they can spend a few grateful hours in the enjoyment of wholesome rest and fresh air.” (NYC Parks)

— by Carsten Glaeser, Ph.D, ASCA, Glaeser Horticultural Consulting

It is a great moment in history that Walt Whitman with his literary genius advocated during his time for greenery amid dense urban dwellings for improving quality of life and human health betterment.

Yet taking place at the property that bears his name, the NYCHA "Walt Whitman Houses" dozens of invaluable and beneficial shade trees that populate the campus are experiencing a planned denuding effort by NYCHA construction activity and its engineers. It is not the blatant cutting and removal of large public shade trees as is proposed by NYC Parks for the adjacent Fort Greene Pk, but it is a deliberate tree-killing attempt unbeknown to those residents walking among them. The Whitman Houses complex with its open landscape and growing space clearly serves as a refugio for large trees as does public parks, that benefit the development for large trees and their canopy for the human and environmental services that trees deliver. Tree stakeholders, beneficiaries and urban greening advocates should be alarmed by what has transpired here.

The NYCHA capital construction project for months has staged construction operations, stored materials, repeatedly moved heavy equipment, performed open-cut trenching etc. all across unprotected trees and their sensitive, wide-spreading root systems. Absent tree-management solutions such as; pre-construction planning for tree preservation, the placement of effective ground protections and fencing, and over-sight, documentation and intervention by the NYCHA in-house Arborist for assuring delivery of acceptable tree care standards.

So here's the learning moment. The outcome for the treed Whitman Houses and its residents is the declining health and death of many irreplaceable site trees anticipated in years after project completion. It is tree death not by cutting, but by a thousand slashes that could have been avoided had one voiced tree preservation concerns in the early stages of the project. Yet now the action needed implores prompt (not later), costly, tree-by-tree remediation measures to lessen these harms imposed- if that is even attainable from NYCHA.

Examples of ineffective protections for small and large NYCHA trees

Examples of ineffective protections for small and large NYCHA trees evident with trampled and severely compacted root populated soils, that has long-term health and stability consequences for those trees affected.

Examples of ineffective protections for small and large NYCHA trees
The Parks Without Borders plan will level historic features and greenery of the park.

The Parks Without Borders plan will level historic features and greenery of the park.

The greenery intended by Olmsted & Vaux will be replaced by a cement plaza in the PWB proposal.

The greenery intended by Olmsted & Vaux will be replaced by a cement plaza in the PWB proposal.

Parks Without Borders presenters said that the plaza design proposal is in line with what Olmsted and Vaux intended at the northwest corner of Fort Greene Park.

— by Michael Gruen, President of the City Club

The City Parks Department is planning to do some major work in the Park under its "Parks Without Borders" program. The general concept of the program is to remove fences and walls that create barriers between parks and their neighboring streets. They have selected eight projects under this rubric, one of which is Fort Greene Park. FGP actually has necessary retaining walls around most of the park because of the rather steep terrain. But at the north-west corner there is a low stone wall with fairly dense trees on both sides that does not block access so much as view into the park.

The Parks Department wants to remove that wall and most of the trees, in large part, it appears, to provide a view into the Park so people outside can see the Prison Ship Martyrs' Memorial that stands at the top of the hill at the center of the Park. Other related work includes removing approximately 54 trees out of about 125 in order to open the view, a great deal of very necessary repair work on terrain and surfaces that have eroded, improvement of barbecue areas and tables, etc.

Much of this (such as follows "a great deal" just above) is extremely necessary and advantageous for the community. However, much of it is unnecessarily environmentally damaging (particularly the tree removal) and very unsympathetic to the character of the Park. This takes a bit of historic explanation. The Park was begun around mid-19th century. Soon after, Olmstead and Vaux took over the design and created a very attractive bucolic array of winding paths up the hillside. Their plan included a relatively modest memorial to the Martyrs (prisoners taken by the British during the Revolution) and a pair of stairways up the northerly side of the hill to the monument. This created a mixture of styles -- bucolic and monumental -- but one they carried off very well by not exaggerating the monumental. In the early 20th century, McKim, Mead & White were engaged to redo the monument. They made it much more grandiose, turned the pair of stairways into a single stairway 100 feet wide, and created a very formal promenade leading toward the stairway. In my opinion, that disrupted the pleasant Omstead and Vaux fit of styles and turned it into a clash. However, over the following decades, there were gradual modifications, and much growth of trees, that tempered the clash. The styles are now made quite compatible because, in a bucolic Olmsteadian manner, the approach to the monument is a bucolic experience. You see nothing of it from the street or as you enter the Park from the north-westerly corner. But as you walk further, you catch glimpses of stairs and memorial column. The experience becomes similar to walking along a hillside winding path and finding a new surprise at every turn. Gradually, the entire monument is revealed and it becomes breathtaking, something that will not happen if you see the whole view from the street and, if a tourist, can check that off your list and go on to Juniors or whatever to experience the next site without having even entered the Park.

The City Club is working with local residents to try to get design modifications that will maintain the existing character.

Parks Without Borders presenters said that the trees they plan to remove are "at the end of their lives", "not going to last very long anyway", and that they are taking the opportunity to remove them.

The Parks Department misrepresented the health of the 58 mature trees marked for removal -- a total of 71 trees will be endangered, including an additional 13 due to extreme pruning and adjacent excavation under their Parks Without Borders redesign plan.

There are 129 trees within the scope of work. NYC Parks plans to remove 58 trees -- only 9 for condition. The other 49 healthy shade trees will be removed for the plaza design. Many of the trees are 50-60 feet tall, providing shade to our neighbors.

NYC Parks Without Borders Presentation

NYC official report requested by FOIL says only 9 trees out of 58 will be removed for condition. NYC Parks Without Borders Presentation gives the impression that many more trees are "at the end of their lives."

A Parks Without Borders presenter said, "“There are some trees planted in the 70s that will need to be removed. They are Norway Maples. They are at the end of their lives. They are in fact illegal to plant in two states. They are an invasive species and we will be taking the opportunity to remove them".

It should be clarified what it means when Norway Maples are called Invasive. These trees have been long naturalized in the USA, and were popular for their quick and easy growing habits and for their shade. Now they are generally not recommended for these same reasons, meaning that they are aggressive and can out compete native trees. That could be a problem in a forest or a meadow but not an issue in a controlled environment like a park where the trees have not been an issue for the last 40-50 years.

Also, their dense shade and dense roots discourage herbaceous plants from growing around the tree. This is why they are not recommended for planting in a forest, where you would want to encourage a natural growth pattern. But in a controlled setting, like a city park or backyard, where maybe you might want a grove of trees and no undergrowth, they might be fine.

In summary, Norway Maples are generally not planted anymore, but that does not mean that you should go out and remove a mature tree.

NYC Parks Without Borders Summer Outreach Program at Fort Greene Park

Handout of NYC Parks Without Borders Summer Outreach Program at Fort Greene Park

What are the benefits of the 58 mature trees PWB plans to cut down at Fort Greene Park?

A large, healthy tree removes almost 70 times more air pollution each year than a small, newly planted tree. ƒ

London planetrees remove more than 77 tons of air pollution each year, over one-quarter of all pollutant removal by NYC’s trees. ƒ

Each year 272 tons—the equivalent of 40 adult elephants—of air pollution are intercepted or absorbed by trees in NYC ƒ

Average electricity and natural gas cost savings in NYC are $47 per street tree ƒ

Each year 313 tons of air pollution are avoided because of energy savings resulting from reduced emissions ƒ

The average street tree in NYC intercepts 1,432 gallons of stormwater each year; all our street trees capture 890 million gallons per year

NYC Parks argued that the trees planned for removal block the view of the monument, and were planted too closely together.

Parks policy for new tree installation significantly shrunk the previously existing tree-to-tree planting distance for large growing trees from 25-30 ft between trees to a 10-12 ft distance (and even less). Their landscape architect experts and tree managers cited that such close proximity to trees and dense plantings in groves is perfectly acceptable as it uniquely emulates a forest condition. This practice continues to be seen not only on street tree installations but Parks Capital projects throughout the city.

Long contested by a number of notable urban tree practitioners throughout the 10 year Million Tree planting program is the modification of Parks Forestry's own tree installation distance rule as it doesn't allow for the maximizing of potential tree canopy. A hallmark of the Bloomberg PlaNYC 2030 Million Tree program has been to expand urban tree canopy by 30%, not reduce it.

"UTC increases can be most efficiently realized by maximizing protection and maintenance in combination with new plantings and natural regeneration. If these trees are managed so that their anticipated mature crown projections are realized, significant UTC increases will occur in concert with planting efforts. Therefore, the number of new trees needed to achieve a UTC goal in NYC will depend upon mortality and growth rates of existing trees and new trees."

Community Input

it is really inconceivable how a "Parks" dept would destroy trees and pour more cement... especially when Fort Greene is being overwhelmed by diesel, trucks, noise etc.

I strongly object to the removal of historic and beautiful trees and further adding more hard space, reducing green space, removing the mounds, altering the historic fencing and otherwise altering the Olmsted vision for this park. I am in favor of fixing the bathrooms which have been neglected for years, having more operating hours for the visitor's center, having more guards at night in the park and fixing/repairing walkways, entrances, etc., so people don't trip, etc...NOT for tearing out our beautiful trees.

it is really inconceivable how a "Parks" dept would approve of destroying that which creates a city park, namely its trees!!! and pour more cement...especially when Fort Greene is being overwhelmed by diesel, trucks, noise etc., all that a city park is designed to help muffle and protect the air we breathe -- which the trees do by their very nature - positive health impacts for all, especially children and the elderly.

The one thing we had was a beautiful shady tree area... The Parks Department plans to take that away from us... They leave us with nothing.

Janine from NYCHA from Fort Greene says: So we don't get heating in the winter, we have scaffolding that stays up for years on our buildings, we have ceilings that fall down on our beds, black mold in our bathrooms and lead in our water. The one thing we had was a beautiful shady tree area to share with our friends, children and our families. The Parks Department plans to take that away from us and give it to the new wave living in the expensive high rises down the street. They want to open it up to commercial ventures and kick us out. They leave us with nothing. Me and my neighbors are so upset about this.

process not open enough; misinformation; lack of thorough cost-benefit analysis

There are three - out of many if I have to choose to focus - mot important points here: 1) the process of decision-making (not open or democratic enough); 2) misinformation or insufficient information about the impact of the new design, especially re 58 tree elimination; and 3) lack of thorough cost-benefit analysis (social, cultural, environmental health factors included) with sufficient public out-reach magnitudes and legibility.

Not familiar enough to comment but I agree with the folks who love and use the park everyday. They should be the ones to help with the design. Make it the community project it should be, and I am never for cutting down trees! This seems like a tragedy, especially in view of the rapidly changing climate we are facing and the need for carbon capture and shade!!!!

"Removal of these trees seriously degrades the Park"

The proposed design doesn’t follow the Parks w/o Borders initiative to make parks more accessible and oversteps its focus on edges. It appears to be a poor design and focuses on the view of the monument from Myrtle rather than on actual usage and experience of the park. I am primarily disturbed by the removal of Zelkova trees on the monument steps and their replacement by a few ornamental trees. Shade on this large expanse of stone steps is very important for accessibility. Climbing up all these steps in the hot sun will not be fun. Removal of these trees seriously degrades the Park and the lush view toward Manhattan from the monument plaza. Such a drastic change to one of New York’s best parks needs a lot more design sensitivity and study. I’m an architect and have designed landscapes. I also know top landscape architects in the city that may be able to lend their expertise.

"Maintain the historic beauty of our park without gutting it."

The existing entrances should be truly accessible. Do not remove stone walls unless it is necessary to remove a small portion to add a ramp. Leave mounds in place. Children love playing on them. Maintain the historic beauty of our park without gutting it.

While I agree that all entrances to FGP should be wheelchair usable, I would like the mounds to stay as they are. The one nearest the stairs makes a good stage for events such as the Great Pupkin contest and various concerts. Kids love playing on them. Let them stay!

"More grass. More green. Not more pavement. Not fancy things just to look fancy."

More intimate spaces "enclosed" by trees. Places to sit at tables, benches in the shade, areas for placing blankets in shade. No trees should be removed. We need them for clean air and shade and to have places to feel a tiny bit of privacy. More grass. More green. Not more pavement. Not fancy things just to look fancy. People use this park as their backyard. We should think of the park this way, not as a promenade.

"this is an opportunity to make real improvements that would be appreciated by the community and park users, and it is being wasted."

I don't understand the rationale behind their proposal. How badly needed is more event space? Are there not other improvements that would make a bigger difference for everyday use of the park? It feels like this is an opportunity to make real improvements that would be appreciated by the community and park users, and it is being wasted. Closing that section of the park for years in order to flatten a couple of mounds doesn't seem to add any value for anyone. Also- shouldn't they first replace the trees that have been removed recently??

"a small park... does not need a grand avenue made of concrete."

More trees, shrubs and flowers - this is a small park that should serve as a recreational green space; it already has a beautiful staircase leading up to the monument and does not need a grand avenue made of concrete. This will greatly decrease the park's value.

Proposed design looks big and corporate, I want one that has lots of sunny and shady spots more gardens, jogging path, a place of concerts/dj or band dance parties.

"This kind of money should fund maintaining, repairing and upgrading the present park amenities"

"WE do NOT need more pavement in the park. There is plenty already."

The proposed plan is not user friendly. It is too vast and unsympathetic to use. particularly by children and small groups or individual adults. This kind of money should fund maintaining, repairing and upgrading the present park amenities including a serious process of adding trees and plantings which decline naturally over time and require care and maintenance. Erosion control and earth replenishment are needed. WE could also fund recreational programs within the park more generously. WE do NOT need more pavement in the park. There is plenty already.

"The Parks Without Borders process has lacked the transparency... contributed to an environment of mistrust and runs against the program's stated goal of unifying parks with their neighborhoods."

The Parks Without Borders process for Fort Greene Park has lacked the transparency, publicity and - most importantly - the meaningful community engagement appropriate to a renovation project of this significance. This has contributed to an environment of mistrust and runs against the program's stated goal of unifying parks with their neighborhoods. It is critical that NYC Parks remedies these issues before advancing any design. Fort Greene Park is the centerpiece of our community. By allowing its community to lead in its renovation, NYC Parks will surely achieve a more favorable outcome.

I thought I read that healthy, appreciated trees were being replaced ? That isn't made clear in this presentation. The 'mounds' are an interesting and useful feature.

"Find a way to address the drainage with minimal impact to the existing structures and certainly without cutting down so many trees!!"

Why would you pave paradise?? Fix what is currently broken i.e. cracked pavement but to do what Parks without Borders suggests is wrong and a waste of money and time. Also, how can it be called Parks without Borders when the proposal appears to be adding a ton of borders? Find a different way to use the funds. Also, why is this the only corner being fixed? Have the residents of Ingersoll, Whitman and Kingsview been consulted? Who actually wants these changes made? i have a feeling it's a much shorter list (mainly consisting of those who DO NOT LIVE near the park) than those who wish the park to remain the way it is. Thank you for your consideration.

Architectural poetics is replaced with greed.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Fort Greene park is one of the best parks in the city. It has the best trees and the worst turf. Parks wants to destroy its best feature. Parks Department is literally killing itself, destroying our parks. Residents do not want what Parks is selling. Parks is trying to pull off a blatant destruction of public value in exchange for private value. They are scheming to destroying public health, the very thing they are tasked with promoting. When things just make absolutely no sense, one has to wonder where this logic is coming from. How could it be that it’s a coincidence that all this is happening as soon as new private construction occurs across the street from the Park? It’s already a tragedy that this developer tower, complete with a chiller tower on top, was allowed to be built to rival the Martyrs Monument and block views to the sunset and the river where the Prison Ships were. Architectural poetics is replaced with greed. Now Parks wants to remove decades-old, mature shade trees to further accentuate a new residential tower? They want to give better apartment views to new real estate buyers and lifeless, inhumane space to park-goers. Who does this Administration work for? Someone needs to investigate to get to the bottom of this madness. -- Citizen Architect from Fort Greene

They don’t seem to have a clue on how urbanism for people actually works.

This plan to cut down huge numbers of Park shade trees is coming from the same administration that wanted to rid Time Square of street performers by turning the pedestrian promenades into vehicular thoroughfares. They don’t seem to have a clue on how urbanism for people actually works. -- Confused from Fort Greene

"not this current flawed, politically driven proposed design by Parks Without Borders by an unknown landscape architect"

The process is flawed. There should be a design competition open to the world's best landscape architects to submit competing designs to the NYC Parks Dept and involved public officials, community boards and general public for review. The winning design should be submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for review, not this current flawed, politically driven proposed design by Parks Without Borders by an unknown landscape architect.

Appropriate design covers needs of current and future local users, storm water management. Best to avoid antique historic design that seems less likely to address erosion , soil conservation and noise and light pollution that can emerge for the new proposal.

I don't think the large open processional walkway is in keeping with the historic Olmsted character of the park. I also am opposed to the removal of so many large trees.

"The process stinks"

The process stinks in that I'm just hearing about it and it seems it has already been approved. I think the trees should be preserved and the walls around the park should stay in tact. I'm not a huge fan of the mounds but as they have some historic value I can see keeping them as well.

"The mounds should be restored with their original wooden benches and maintained."

Of course I'm pleased to see money and thought being invested into a park I love and use very often, but the proposed design suggests removing one of the defining characteristics of Ft.Greene Park - the A.E.Bye grass mounds. The mounds should be restored with their original wooden benches and maintained. They are a unique and historic feature of our park. They are so much more effective as a design element in that space than an open promenade would be. Just look at promenades around NYC; Brooklyn Heights, the open space by the Court Houses at Boro Hall, the Literary Walk in Central Park - These straight, open spaces are enjoyable to pass-through but they don't promote gathering and small group activities the way the existing A.E. Bye mounds do. My two cents: restore the mounds, integrate handicapped access to the existing entry points, save all trees, add grilling stations, resurface basketball court, dig out fallen tree roots, plant grass/perennials, fix both entry steps by Brooklyn Hospital (an embarrassment to our city), install a proper, level soccer area on the south east lawn, repair the ongoing flooding issue along Washington Park (another embarrassment) and incorporate a designated dog run so that all park users don't have to deal with dog remnants. Those are some of the things that I think $10.5million could help. Thank you for your efforts in promoting a true public process and for providing the opportunity for me to speak out about the direction of our park, Ft.Greene Park.

There are too many impermeable surfaces in the Parks Without Borders proposal- and too many mature shade trees destroyed in the process- How are they mitigating and managing storm water runoff and the myriad of benefits of the trees they propose to take away?

they should upgrade/repair the existing structures and add a ramp to the existing steps from Myrtle.

Keep healthy trees, don't add pavement unless ADA access issue. Work with community.

It is shocking that we haven't fixed the Dust Bowl. It infuriates me. I've lived here for 15 years, and it has gone from dusty bowl to complete sand pit. It actually makes me go to the park less. I'm a soccer player and have participated in those games but we can't ignore it any longer. The lawn should be blocked off and re-seeded until it's lush like Central Park Sheep's Meadow, so everyone in the neighborhood can use it. I mean, really...

I would like to see the old growth trees maintained. Those trees are visited by woodpeckers and red tailed hawks, birds that bring awe to urban dwellers.

I'd like the existing park features to be refurbished and updated. Preserve the trees!

Fixing the bathrooms and water fountains would be good. Adding something soft to the pavement so it isn't so harsh on the feet. Trees are always nice. More basketball and fitness stuff is always nice, too.

The park is perfect just the way it is. It just needs better bathrooms. Do not touch it's beautiful trees. Invest money in projects that are truly needed in Brooklyn, such as better housing for those in need. Leave the trees alone!!!

Trees are important. they have been there longer than us, and help us. Don't kill them.

Do not remove mature trees or permeable grass areas to put down pavement!

No transparency and no community input is outrageous!

Simply repair cracked pavements and improve playing courts and playground equipment. Absolutely NO tree removal needed: we need shade, not concrete!

"The choice of the area seems racially motivated and extremely disruptive to the communities that use it most, especially the projects."

The millions earmarked and the lies told by PWB signal corruption on some level: investigate and stop them now before damage is done! Hold public hearing in the park and announce them widely. Make sure that black community leaders and park users are involved in the decision making. Make sure that every dollar is tracked that will benefit contractors, politicians, Parks people pushing this. Get the mayor involved, as well as Brooklyn politicians, Laurie Cumbo, Tish James, Walter Mosley and seek their public statements.

The hills and trees there do not need to be removed for flat open space.

There's too much hardscaping. The proposal is contrary to the City's green initiative to create more plantings and reduce stormwater runoff. And the decision-making process is, of course, opaque.

"None has the right to take life from our park."

Not everything in life has to look so manicured and regal. The park is for the people. No one has a right to redesign it to their liking at the cost of trees. While government denies climate change, the people are waking to see the environment as something that must be protected, especially in a city where fresh oxygen is desperately needed. None has the right to take life from our park.

We all live in an urban environment. What is most needed is peace, shade, green, quiet; as an antidote to the daily onslaught of Ainsley overload and nature deprivation.

I really don't want to see any trees cut down if possible. The age, majesty and shade of them should be preserved as much as possible.

The park is AMAZING as-is! I'm shocked that they want to completely destroy the amount of green. It's a haven for us during the summer and winter months!

"the mounds... are visually more interesting than a flat concrete avenue"

More green areas, not more concrete - the whole city is concrete, the park is supposed to be grass and trees. And cutting down that many trees is criminal. The water fountain is a nice idea, otherwise the proposal lacks imagination and reduces much of what makes the park unique and special, especially the removal of the mounds, which are a unique feature utilized by many for exercise, play spaces for children, and are visually more interesting than a flat concrete avenue leading to the monument.

should NEVER cut down trees unless diseased. ALWAYS plant more

"turning our park into an ugly business-looking mall isn't the answer."

We have a very special park and members of many different communities come to use it - scrubbing the north area of the park closest to the projects seems really f*cked up. The trees deserve to live, the trees deserve to be cared for in the best way, but turning our park into an ugly business-looking mall isn't the answer. And if they threaten to tear down my favorite tree in the park I?€?ll stage a live-in protest.

The trees in FGP are some of the oldest and most valuable in the city. I would like to see them keep the old trees and maximize green space.

"it is a waste of money to destroy the park, this money can and should be put to other use."

It destroys the original park design. Not in keeping with the original design of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. This plan make the park look too commercial and destroys the peace and tranquility of the park in its present layout. In addition, it is a waste of money to destroy the park, this money can and should be put to other use. Why fix what is not broken?

No cutting down of mature trees!

"stop paving everything and fencing in green space! A horrible trend I see all over the city. NYers need spaces to get in touch with the earth not just look at it."

I'm not sure but I think input from the ACTUAL users of the space is critical. I also think historical preservation is essential as well. I don't know what the best plan is (as I am not a heavy user of this part of FG park) but this doesn't look or feel right, much like most of the development happening in our community. I have lived in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill for 17+ years and feel it is sad to see what is happening in our neighborhood i.e. over development, loss of community values, etc. And, stop paving everything and fencing in green space! A horrible trend I see all over the city. NYers need spaces to get in touch with the earth not just look at it. Also, let's talk about how fixing up that part of the park wasn't a priority until all of the development rolled in on the Myrtle side of the neighborhood. Let's also talk about how many parks in poor communities throughout the city are in disrepair, some even dangerous, but the parks department is going to prioritize making FG Park "fancy"?

"People love to picnic and sit out in this exact location you are proposing to pave."

The trees there are so beautiful, and are one of my favorite places to go in the fall. The proposal says this side of the park is underutilized but I'm not sure what that means, there are always many people there. People love to picnic and sit out in this exact location you are proposing to pave. My children love playing on the mounds. People are always exercising on the shady steps and in the exercise park and basketball court. What happens to those? Perhaps what you mean is underutilized by white Ft. Greene residents? That may be true but it is richly utilized by the many people who live on that side of the park. Ft. Greene Park is highly segregated in its use. Maybe that is the question that should be asked. This is not the answer to that question. Many people's apartments face this change, have they been consulted about how they would like the view from their buildings and block to look? I am sure this step would happen if changes were proposed on the significantly more expensive Washington Park and DeKalb side. Finally. Trees are plants that have a much longer timeline than humans. As the trees there are about my age and I am halfway through my life, I'd say they have a while to go still. In fact google puts Norway Maple lifespans at 100 years. Let's let them live and keep providing beauty and clean air for residents.

Honor the trees and green space, protect and nurture it.

I wish there was a clean open lawn to picnic on but I love the old trees and historic aspect of the park

Whatever the change it should be safe, accessible, and full of trees for health & shade, green space for enjoyment and for ensuring rainwater is captured and not contributing to runoff and sewer outfall.

"the removal of green space and these beautiful trees is a terrible idea!!!!"

The broken sidewalk and park pathway paving should be replaced and the stairs can be replaced by a ramp or ramps. The approach to the monument can be improved by means of added signage and interactive exhibits, and the circular area should be cleaned up and replanted. However, the removal of green space and these beautiful trees is a terrible idea!!!!

"The new design is all concrete"

The new design is all concrete and designed only to focus on a man-built monument - this is NOT what our community wants or needs! The process was deceptive, promising MORE green space, not less. Such a terrible misuse of public funds when more green space is so desperately needed in this community.

Please please please do not cut down any healthy trees!!!!!! That is my major problem with this proposal. Thank you.

"Fort Greene Park is pretty perfect as is with the exception of the bathroom situation."

I think Fort Greene Park is pretty perfect as is with the exception of the bathroom situation. Those could definitely stand to be improved. It would be nice if the one at the visitor center were available more consistently too.

Improve what is existing, and retain the old features.

The PWB proposal is awful. leave the trees alone.

They didn't tell the neighborhood residents of Myrtle Avenue, nor the new families in the new high rises. 80% of the people don't know. Take a simple survey and find out.

...trees and grass and sunlight, elements that help us thrive as humans... How do we get our officials to connect with the trees this way?

Before I begin, in Japan, spending time in the forest is a medical prescription for health. Practitioners of energy medicine such as reiki, tai chi, or Incan Shamanism understand that trees, like other living beings, have energy centers like humans do, "chakra" in Sanskrit. They need healing sometimes, and they help us heal sometimes. Many people practice Tai Chi in New York City Parks not just because they are free, open space, but because they have trees and grass and sunlight, elements that help us thrive as humans. Ode to the trees of Fort Greene Park: I first discovered this park and trees on a bike ride to Prospect Park in the early 00's and was awed by their size and shade. Coming through the park on my bike at night was a ritual aspect of my commute, one that magnetized me to the neighborhood as in 2008. Since then, Fort Greene became my favorite park in Brooklyn. I have communed with those trees, their energy has released locked muscles in my body, relaxed me, given me sanctuary when my life otherwise seemed to be falling apart. I have sat with these trees, slept under them, and visited them at night. I wish I could convey the visceral intensity of these experiences with others so they understand how precious trees are to our psychic existence. This and all the other wonderful inspiration and health trees provide in their beautiful existence on our planet. How do we get our officials to connect with the trees this way?

Terry from Ft Greene says: Bureaucrats don't have psychic lives. They can't be expected to "understand trees." They understand being sued.

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