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Arboreal Rebirth

Plan for replanting damaged trees

Nearly a year after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on Garden City, the department of recreation and parks is continuing to rebound from how badly it ravaged the greenery that the village has been renowned for. An estimated 675 trees were destroyed last year when the storm tore through the area. At a recent Aug. 22 village board of trustees meeting, Kevin Ocker, chairman of the board of commissioners of cultural and recreational affairs, revealed a three-phase plan of attack that would ideally reinstate the arboreal amounts to the numbers they were at pre-Sandy.

“We’ll be attacking this in three phases—the first phase will be planting around 225 trees this fall. Phase two will follow in the spring with an additional 300 trees,” Ocker explained. “Then in fall 2014, we will go ahead with the replacement of 250 to 300 trees, bringing us right back to where it was.”

Aided by a group of graduate students and faculty from Cornell University, which boasts one of the largest biological and environmental engineering departments in the country, the recreation and parks department is following many of their recommendations. Guidelines include more diversity with the varieties being used in addition to other planting specifications that will ideally sustain the trees for quite some time.

As for the cost, $82,000 was budgeted as part of the village’s economic plan for this year, which Ocker assured was enough money to get through phases one and two of this replanting strategy. He also informed the board that the going rate for the trees was based on the rate of $175 per tree with a one-year guarantee. And although this damage was Sandy-related, Deputy Mayor Nicholas Episcopia was quick to point out that FEMA does not offer reimbursement for arboreal replacement.