Hurricane Sandy has left serious damage in its wake, and we hope you're all staying safe. More than 250 mature trees in Central Park were destroyed as well as infrastructure, including fencing and benches, throughout the Park’s 843 acres. Many of the trees destroyed in the storm were more than a century old. The number of destroyed trees is expected to climb dramatically as inspections continue throughout the Park.
Trees destroyed include an 8,700-pound swamp white oak along the Mall; a majestic willow tree at Lasker Rink; and two linden trees on the Great Lawn. Maples and oaks throughout the Park were destroyed, made particularly vulnerable to the storm because they still bore many of their leaves.
Central Park Conservancy staff prepared Central Park for the storm by drawing down the Park’s seven water bodies to prevent flooding and placing sandbags in low-lying areas to prevent flooding and the blocking of drains by debris.
The Conservancy began assessing the storm’s damage and making repairs once it became safe to do so. Staff first target areas of the Park visitors are most likely to return to in high numbers, including entrances, paths and popular sites, once the Park is reopened. There's a lot of work to be done in the Park to ensure safety and accessibility for all Park users and to have it ready for the ING NYC Marathon on Sunday. We ask everyone to help the Conservancy by staying out of the Park until further notice. The work we're doing to clear storm debris can be dangerous.
Repairs to Central Park are possible thanks to the support of our members. We truly thank those who support us.