BY THE VILLAGE SUN | If a tree falls in the park after its curfew — does anyone hear it?
Yes, that is, if it’s Liz Thomson of The Village Trip.
The director of the annual Greenwich Village cultural festival was staying at a friend’s place on Washington Square West over the weekend. Early Sunday morning, as she put it, she was “getting ready to go to bed or thinking of it” when she distinctly heard something.
“Around 1:30 a.m. I heard a load crack, which I thought could be a gunshot — but what would I know?” she said.
She had passed by the park earlier in the evening but had not noticed a toppled tree.
Of course, it had been raining heavily for two days, which presumably could have loosened the earth around tree roots. There was thunder and lightning, too — though it wasn’t clear if there might have been a lightning strike.
Luckily the tree fell — if it did fall when Thomson heard the loud cracking sound — after the park’s midnight curfew, when the park should have been empty.
Later Sunday, Thompson went out to investigate and snapped photos of the downed deciduous giant, which looked to be around 50 feet tall. It was lying in the park’s northwestern quadrant — right across a footpath.
There was no word of any injuries. A Police spokesperson said he did not have any information.
No surprises here as Washington Square Park’s trees and the landscapes they populate have been repeatedly devastated by construction projects and ill-informed maintenance strategies. I am sure if this tree was closely examined, one would see the results of such abuse – an inadequate structural root system which often leads to failure. It’s really unacceptable that NYC’s trees – so important to biodiversity and human well-being within the urban ecosystem – are not adequately planned for, managed or protected.