The Garden is home to approximately 13 species of trees totaling 69 individual trees. There are also numerous shrubs and herbaceous perennials thriving in the Garden. These numbers do not account for all the vegetation growing in the courtyard of Washington Square Village. There are 24 trees in the Key Park playground, 45 trees between the eastern edge of the Garden and Key Park, and 36 trees between the
western edge of the Garden and the rear side of the commercial strip on La Guardia Place. NYU 2031 would kill 174 trees when Mayor Bloomberg is spending millions of dollars and communities are volunteering many hundreds of hours of sweat equity to plant one million new trees for the MillionTreesNYC initiative. Why not preserve mature trees, too? (By the way, in lieu of planting a street tree, an applicant can pay $1700 per tree to the NYC Parks Dept. Tree Fund. The cost of 174 trees of approximately 2-3" in diameter-at-breast-height equals $295,800! Imagine to replace with trees that range in diameter from 3" to 20". Not to mention to replace all the trees that would be destroyed on the two blocks if NYU 2031 is approved. In 2007, the New York Sun reported that it cost the City $1100 to plant a 8-foot tall tree. Using that sum, the cost to plant 174 trees of this size equals $191,400.)
The vegetation in the Garden provides a range of social benefits (read reason #7 and reason #8), economic benefits, and environmental services. Approximately 400 pounds of carbon are removed per year by the Sasaki Garden (unpublished report, Hunter College Center for Community Planning & Development, 2012). This same population of trees intercepts approximately 264,408.67 gallons of stormwater per year (unpublished report, Hunter College Center for Community Planning & Development, 2012).
The largest tree in the Key Park playground, a 20.25" London planetrees provides approximately $37 in overall annual environmental benefits, according to an assessment via iTree Design, an ecosystem services calculator for individual trees developed by the U.S. Forest Service. Air quality benefits account for $15.46, stormwater management for $19.56 or 2,445 gallons of stormwater intercepted this year, and carbon benefits for $1.89 or a reduction of 604 pounds of carbon this year. Read more about the environmental benefits of the trees in the Key Park playground.
Read reason #7 here.