Residents are beginning to ask more in-depth questions about the planned improvements for Union City's No. 3 Washington Park (below the soccer field to Palisade Avenue, Patterson Plank Rd to 2nd St). I refer residents to Hudson County's Open Space, Recreation & Historic Preservation Trust Application P1-01-10. The conceptual image on the aforementioned website shows 17 sycamore trees will be removed. This is not true: 41 sycamores, 3 cherry trees (1 a black cherry escape), 2 Hawthornes, 7 Norway maples, 1 mulberry (an escape) and 12 old yews are in the area of improvement. In addition, viburnums, & cotoneaster shrubs would be wiped out. It is important to note that the Advisory Board recommends "that all trees removed as a result of the park improvements be replaced with trees of equivalent type and caliper." This is important because elected leaders in Union City are on record as promising up to 5 trees for every one removed. But how they will meet the 'caliper' recommendation for some sycamores dating to 1932 with sizable girths is a matter to probe. We are not talking about substitution like pocket change –
I will swap 4 quarters for your dollar – we are talking, in most cases, of old, mature growth trees over 60 feet tall with large diameters that are unique to their place and time and species. It should interest local residents that recently a sub-contractor has conducted a survey of every animate and inanimate object within the boundaries of this park, including all trees. But you would not know that because you are kept in the dark. Finally at least 166 residents have signed a petition opposing this park improvement, in part, because parking space around this park is increasingly becoming, as one local put it: "a nightmare". The NJ chapter of the Sierra Club will also have something significant to say and I hope The Hudson Reporter will look favorably upon the press release and cover the story.