Fort Greene Park project's proposed tree removal sparks backlash

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FORT GREENE -

A plan to remove dozens of trees from Fort Greene Park is causing an uproar among a group of parkgoers.

The Friends of Fort Greene Park say they are baffled by the Parks Without Borders project, which neighbors voted in favor of in order to give the northern edge of the park a facelift.

In total, 38 trees will be removed to facilitate the design, with an additional 14 trees cut down because they are unhealthy.

The Friends of Fort Greene says they have tried to get documents from the Parks Department to prove this, but they say the documents were all redacted. The group even hired an independent arborist, who said all but eight trees were healthy.

"Fix the bricks, fix the paving, things like that, but don't cut down on our trees," says Edwina Glasco, of Fort Greene.

In a statement, a New York City Parks spokesperson says, "We have the responsibility to balance the benefits of development and tree preservation for the greater good of the community. While design-based tree removals are uncommon in our capital projects, they are necessary for this design."

Some say the northern side of the park, which faces NYCHA developments, has been ignored for years until developers moved in.

"They're renting to rather wealthy people, and I think they just simply want a nicer park for the rich people, the new people that are moving in, whereas the NYCHA people have been living here for many, many years," says Patti Hagan, or Friends of Fort Greene Park.

The group rallied outside Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo's office, demanding she stop the project. Gumbo did not immediately respond to News 12's request for comment.

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