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, change.org 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.