THE URBAN JUNGLE

May 10, 2018 at 4:45 am

Forests in New York City are not only surviving, but are actually thriving! Find out how in this episode that is a part of our ongoing Peril and Promise series of reports on the human impact of, and solutions for, climate change.

Aired on May 9, 2018.

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>>> I'M DOUGLAS FORD FOR
METROFOCUS.
WHEN YOU THINK OF THE NEW YORK
YOU MIGHT THINK OF THE COMMUTE
OR THE SKY LINE BUT IT'S MORE TO
NEW YORK CITY THAN BROIKS AND
CONCRETE.
WE ARE SURROUNDED BY 10,000
ACRES OF FOREST LAND, MORE THAN
10 TIMES THE SIZE OF CENTRAL
PARK.
AS AN ADDED BONUS MOST OF THE
LAND IS OWNED BY THE CITY.
CONSERVATIONISTS SAY THE FOREST
IS IN BETTER HEALTH THAN
THOUGHT.
AND THAT COULD CHANGE.
AS PART OF THE MULTIPLATFORM
MULTIPERIL INITIATIVE WHICH
EXPLORES THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE
CHANGE WE LOOK AT AFFECT AND OUR
AREA AND THE CONSERVATIONISTS
FIGHTING FOR THE FUTURE OF THE
FOREST.
>> MORE THAN 500 TREES WERE LOST
IN HURRICANE SANDY, TREES LIKE
100 YEARS OLD.
>> THE THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE
CHANGE A AREN'T HAPPENING HERE
IN NEW YORK CITY AND RESHAPING
THE FORESTS.
>> IT'S A HUGE PART OF OUR
EFFORT, THE STORM THAT I
MENTIONED HURRICANE SANDY, YOU
SEE MORE AND MORE OF THOSE,
QUICK, DEVASTATING STORMS AND
THE IMPACT IS TREMENDOUS
ESPECIALLY IN THE WOODLANDS.
WHAT HAPPENS IS WE LOSE SEVERAL
MATURE TREES, OPENING UP THE
CANOPY.
ALLOWS FOR INVASIVE SPECIES TO
TAKE OVER.
IT'S A CONSTANT PROCESS OF
REBUILDING RESTORING, REJUF
NATION.
WE ARE ACTIVELY EVERY DAY
LOOKING TO BOLSTER THE FOREST
DEAL WITH THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE
CHANGE.
IT'S A BIG PASTOR WORK THE
LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT AND NATURAL
RESOURCES GROUP IS DEALING WITH.
>> CONSERVATIONIST SOUND THE
ALARM CLIMATE CHANGE IS HERE AND
COMBATTING THE EFFECTS IS A
PRIORITY.
THAT'S THE BAD NEWS.
GOOD NEWS, THE CITY PARKS ARE IN
EXCELLENT SHAPE NOW BUT THAT
COULD CHANGE.
>> SO IN SOME WAYS WE'RE A
SITUATION SIMILAR TO SUBWAYS TWO
DECADES AGO WHEN THINGS RAN ON
TIME.
AND PERHAPS IF WE MADE MORE OF
AN INVESTMENT THEN WE WOULD HAVE
BEEN A ABLE TO BY PASS SOME OF
THE CHALLENGES HAPPENING NOW.
WE ARE HOPING INVESTMENT IN
FORESTS TODAY HELP US MAINTAIN
GOOD HEALTH
>> CONSERVATIONISTS ARE UNDER
YOU CAN SOUNDING THE ALARM.
THE PRIORITY HAS TO BE
COMBATTING CLIMATE CHANGE.
THE GOOD NEWS THE CITY PARKS ARE
IN EXCELLENT SHAPE NOW BUT THAT
COULD CHANGE.
>> NEW YORK CITY SITS RIGHT AT
THE INTERSECTION OF THE
MID-ATLANTIC AND NEW ENGLAND.
AND WE'RE EXPERIENCING THE
EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE HERE
MORE QUICKLY THAN SOME OF OUR
SURROUNDING AREAS.
WE'RE VERY INTERESTED IN
THINKING ABOUT HOW -- WHAT GROWS
HERE WILL SHIFT OVER TIME AND
WE'VE BEEN DOING A PROJECT
LOOKING AT THE TREES AND SHRUBS
THAT SURVIVE IN NEW YORK CITY
AND WHAT'S LIKELY TO SURVIVE IN
THE NEXT 50 TO 100 YEARS.
AND SHIFTING SOME OF WHAT GETS
PLANTED
>> CERTAIN PLANT SPECIES ARE
PREDICTED TO DO WELL OR HOLD
THEIR OWN.
OTHERS ARE PREDICTED NOT DO
WELL.
FOR EXAMPLE, SUGAR MAPLE IS
PREDICTED TO NOT DO WELL AS
CLIMATE CHANGE CONTINUES THE WAY
IT'S GOING.
AND WE THINK THAT THE NATURAL
RANGE OF THIS TREE IS GOING TO
RECEDE NORTH.
>> MOST OF THE OAK AND HICKORY
SPECIES ARE PREDICTED TO HANDLE
IT WELL.
>> THAT INFORMATION CAME FROM A
STUDY FROM THE NATURAL AREA
CONSERVECY AND NEW YORK CITY
PARKS DEPARTMENT AND PART OF A
LARGER PLAN TO HARDEN THE CITY
FOREST AND PARKLAND AGAINST THE
EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE.
IT'S DUBBED THE FOREST
MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK FOR NEW
YORK CITY.
THE REPORT SAYS $385 MILLION
WILL BE NEEDED OVER THE NEXT 25
YEARS TO KEEP THE FOREST IN GOOD
HEALTH.
.
FOR BRESKT ALBANY PROOFED NEARLY
$1.0 BILLION TO FIX THE SUBWAYS
IN ONE YEAR.
>> I CAN'T UNDERESTIMATE THE
NEED FOR PAID STAFF.
WORKING WITH PAID STAFF WHO CAN
PUT IN FULL WORKDAYS AND CAN
REALLY LOG AND MAINTAIN KIND OF
RECORDS OF HOW SITES ARE
CHANGING OVER TIME IS EXTREMELY
CRUCIAL.
>> THE PARK ALLIANCE IN BROOKLYN
AND THE FOREST PARK TRUST IN
QUEENS ARE TWO OF DOZENS OF
NON-PLOFT BROSTING HELPING TO
MAINTAIN THE PARKS AND FORESTS,
ALSO THE FIRST TO BEGIN ON WORK
ON MORE DETAILED DATA COLLECTION
THROUGH THE PROGRAM.
>> WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT THAT AND
WE'LL BE ABLE TO UTILIZE SOME OF
THE LONG-TERM DATA THAT HAS BEEN
COLLECTED REGARDING FORESTRY
MANAGEMENT IN NEW YORK CITY.
AND THIS WILL REALLY BETTER
ENABLE US TO INTEGRATE WITH KIND
OF NEW YORK CITYWIDE MANAGEMENT
PLAN OF FOREST RESTORATION,
INVASIVE REMOVAL, DEALING WITH
GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE, ET
CETERA.
>> REMOVAL OF INVASIVE PLANTS IS
MENTIONED QUIT A BIT.
THAT'S BECAUSE IT'S A CRITICAL
PART OF KEEPING THE FOREST
HEALTHY.
BECAUSE IN NATURE IT'S LIFE AND
DEATH AND INVASIVE PLANTS ARE
BETTER THAN OTHERS AS INCREASING
CHANCE FOR SURVIVAL.
>> IT GROWS QUICKLY.
IT STARTS COMING UP BEFORE OTHER
PLANTS COME UP AND SHADES THEM
OUT.
IN THE GUYS OF GARLIC MUSTARD
AND CERTAIN ONES IT CAN A PATHIC
WHERE IT'S POISONING THE GROUND
AROUND IT TO KEEP OTHER PLANTS
AWAY.
AND YOU KNOW WHAT YOU GET IS
LEFT UNCHECKED YOU'LL GET A
FIELD OF GARLIC MUSTARD WHICH
YOU KNOW WILL OUTCOMPETE, YOU
KNOW, DOZENS OF SPECIES OF
NATIVE PLANTS.
>> THE WORK TO MAINTAIN THE
FOREST IS ALSO FOR NEW YORKERS
QUALITY OF LIFE.
THE TREES AND PARKS PROVIDE THE
CITY WITH FRESH HAIR AND KEEP
TEMPERATURES LOWER IN THE
SWELTERRING HEAT.
BUT IT'S ALSO A PLACE OF FRUM.
HALF OF THOSE SURVEY SURVEYED IN
THE REPORT SAYS THEIR EXPERIENCE
WITH NATURE A HAPPENS NO NEW
YORK CITY PARKS.
>> THE ENTIRE EXPERIENCE OF
PLAYING SPORTS, SPENDING TIME
OUTSIDE, TAKING A HIKE WITH THE
FAMILY, ALL OF THIS ACTIVITY IS
HAPPENING IN THE LOCAL PARKS OR
THEY'RE NOT HAPPENING AT ALL.
SO WE KNOW THAT SPENDING TIME IN
NATURE IS REALLY IMPORTANT FOR
PEOPLE.
IT'S GOOD FOR COMMUNITIES.
IT'S GREAT FOR KIDS.
AND HAVING THESE OPPORTUNITIES
NOT JUST IN NATURE BUT IT'S
HELPING BEAUTIFUL SPECTACULAR
NATURE IN THE URBAN CONTEXT IS
SO IMPORTANT.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, and Judy and Josh Weston.

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