Monday, December 10, 2012

A petition to add more willow trees to La Plaza Cultural on Avenue C

In recent years, several of the majestic willow trees were lost in La Plaza Cultural Armando Perez on Avenue C and East Ninth Street. The winds and soaking rain of Hurricane Irene in August 2011 helped to uproot the garden's prized tree.

As Colin Moynihan wrote about the significance of the tree to the neighborhood in The New York Times:

The gardeners who run La Plaza ... staved off several attempts at the garden’s development in the 1980s and ’90s. During those battles, the tall willow was embraced as a symbol of resistance and its likeness appeared on fliers and posters urging neighbors to oppose planned takeovers.

Workers removed one a willow tree in October 2008. Following Superstorm Sandy, workers had to take down part of one of the garden's two remaining willows.

In response, East Village resident Lindsey Kister has launched the following:

This is a petition to replace the weeping willow trees destroyed by hurricanes Irene and Sandy in the East Village community garden, La Plaza Cultural Armando Perez. Community parks and gardens are important cornerstones of the East Village community. The willow trees stood tall for thirty years in La Plaza Cultural and were symbols of resistance and survival. The trees were loved by the community and complimented the unique character of the village ... It is time to replant these trees and reenergize the spirit of the garden.

As Lindsey said, "Once we get 100 signatures, delivers the petition to the various departments listed on the petition. There's no guarantee that the city will respond, but I figured it was worth a shot. Those trees were amazing."

Indeed. Find the petition here.



Michael Paul said...

I signed the petition. Thank you for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Does it have to be the city that replaces them? Or could the community gardeners do it? Is it just a cost issue, or permission?

Dr Gecko said...

Don't willows have shallow roots and topple rather easily? Maybe some other kind of tree would be better? Does anybody here know anything about trees; I don't.

Elizabeth Carson said...

I signed your petition. I think perhaps joining forces with one or several elected officials to garner a grant for funds or donations of young trees might be a good course of action. Elected are readily swayed to support activities that they may then claim as good deeds in support of the community tree plantings !!!!

Jill W. said...

Joining the garden and working from within the organization seems like a much better way to get trees planted than petitioning a government entity. A petition comprised of a single sentence sort of suggests that the author hasn't done a lot of homework. It almost appears like the petitioner is going around La Plaza volunteers.

Anonymous said...

The Willow trees are more than community symbols, they serve a critical purpose of helping to absorb the vast amount of water that flows from underground streams emanating from near Washington Sq Pk and running below 8th street to the East River. Theese trees, (according to local ledgend) were planted at the behest of Buckminster Fuller in the 70's for sust this purpose. We've lost too many large willows in recent years! There is one directly adjacent to our building that we finally convinced the city to prune properly - a move that I'm certian spared it from Irene, or Sandy, or the next big storm. Willows grow exceedingly fast - it makes them ideal for city gardens, yet it also creates trees with vast canopies that NEED to be pruned back. I'm 100% for this petition and would donate money to the cause, but I also think we need a tree tending plan to protect the large trees we have left, and any new ones that get planted.

Kimberley said...

Willow saplings aren't too expensive, rather than get 100 signatures, get 100 dollar bills and go to work.