Residents push to save hundreds of trees on Roosevelt Island

For residents of Roosevelt Island, the 7/8 acres of land on the island’s southern end known as South Point Park island worth saving for the countless animals that call the area home.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, or RIOC, currently plans to renovate the space, which local activists say would mean tearing down over 300 trees and essentially paving over the home of so much wildlife.

“Leave us this treasure, this is a devastating impact on our environment,” said Rossana Ceruzzi of the Wildlife Freedom Foundation.

While the RIOC did not respond to FOX 5 NY’s inquiries, a flyer they posted says that the renovation project would give pedestrians even more access to the waterline. But residents, including Judith Berdy of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, say they have plenty of waterfront already, but precious little forest land.

“It’s a forest, we have a mini forest here which would be removed, there must be a way that we do not destroy all the trees and also the natural habitat of all the animals living here,” Berdy said. 

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A petition to save the small forest area on Roosevelt Island has already gathered over 5,000 signatures.

There is one area of agreement, one of the main purposes of the renovation project is to shore up the aging sea wall, an urgency brought on by climate change. 

Activists say they hope RIOC will come to see the land as something other than a bunch of trees in the way.