Maria Hernandez Park

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Maria Hernandez Park Recovers From Fall Tornado

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney

On Tuesday, December 19, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, New York Restoration Project Executive Director Amy Freitag, and President of the Bryant Park Corporation and 34th Street Partnership Dan Biederman, were joined by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Council Member Diana Reyna at Maria Hernandez Park to present a holiday gift of 74 trees to the residents and community of Bushwick. Additionally, 20 students from P.S. 123, an elementary school located across the street from the park, penned and read a poem about how much Maria Hernandez Park and its trees mean to them.

These 74 new trees replace the more than 50 large, caliper trees that were lost as a result of the storm that devastated parts of New York City on September 16, 2010. The tree planting in Maria Hernandez Park was made possible through MillionTreesNYC lead sponsors BNP Paribas, The Home Depot Foundation and Toyota, as well as funds raised at NYRP’s annual fundraising gala, Hulaween – which raised more than $460,000 to support the organization’s tree-planting activities citywide.

On September 16, 2010, two tornadoes and a macroburst tore through New York City, uprooting trees, damaging cars and peeling roofs from houses. The storm’s tree destruction stretched uninterrupted from Park Slope through Bedford-Stuyvesant and Bushwick in Brooklyn, into Ridgewood, Queens and all the way through Queens to Bayside. In Staten Island the worst damage was on the North Shore, with another pocket of damage on the South Shore. More than 3,500 trees were damaged or destroyed in this massacre by Mother Nature.

Maria Hernandez Park was especially a scene of devastation; endless rows of fallen trees struck by lightning or uprooted by the tumultuous winds that took the sidewalks with them. NYRP saw the destruction and recognized the important need to step in. NYRP’s MillionTreesNYC team quickly assembled – and in coordination with the NYC Parks Department – created a planting plan and had all 74 trees successfully in the ground by December 10.

Trees (2.5” caliper up to 5.0” caliper or 8’ to 16’ tall) that were planted in Maria Hernandez Park include Silver and Little-leaf Lindens, Pin Oaks, Japanese Zelkovas, deciduous Evergreen Dawn Redwoods, Flowering Kwanzan Cherries and Yellow Woods. These 74 trees will provide residents with the health, environmental and economic benefits that large caliper trees provide, giving ample tree canopy that will maximize these benefits in a shorter period of time.

In addition, Bryant Park Corporation and 34th Street Partnership is contributing $100,000 to support additional park landscape and maintenance.


“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.”

Carl Reiner
(1922 - )

Directions to Maria Hernandez Park

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