As many of you are aware, there has been a rash of street tree vandalism in Crown Heights and Prospect Heights recently. For those of you who are hearing about this for the first time, please click HERE, HERE, and HERE to learn more on local blogs. The damage is extensive, and there are some young trees that may never heal.
Apparently all of the vandalism is being done by a mentally/emotionally disturbed resident of the area. Street tree stewards are mobilizing to push for an improvement in social services to help this guy out and prevent further damage to the local urban forest. In the short term, the Deputy Director of Brooklyn Forestry and the Department of Parks has asked that anyone witnessing an act of vandalism do the following:
1. Immediately call 9-1-1, file a report, and keep a record of the case number
2. Document the incident without jeopardizing your safety (photos, etc.)
3. Send all case numbers, witness dates, and photos to this email. I’ll serve as the point person to funnel the data to Parks and their Enforcement Police.
If anyone can claim to have witnessed the vandalism taking place and has information on the name and residence of the perpetrator, Parks is asking that you step forward and provide a witness statement. Please contact me if you’ve seen the damage in action and you’re willing to formally file a statement.
I’d also ask everyone to contact local elected officials (Tish James, for example) to notify them of the problem and urge them to identify better social services / support for our neighbor. This is a particular challenge that may be beyond our collective ability to help solve, but we can be good neighbors and push for a sustainable solution that includes better care (in whatever form appropriate) for the guy doing the damage.
Prospect Heights Community Farm
Prospect Heights Urban Forestry Initiative