Sandy-damaged trees around Kensico Reservoir to be replaced

The Kensico Dam faces the Kensico Dam Plaza The Kensico Dam faces the Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla. (Feb. 23, 2012) Photo Credit: Angela Gaul

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Trees that fell or suffered damage around Kensico Reservoir during Hurricane Sandy will be removed and replaced with a mix of native evergreens, hardwood trees and shrubs that will help the area withstand major storms in the future, New York City officials said Thursday.

The work, which is expected to begin this winter, consists of roughly 45 acres of New York City-owned land in Mount Pleasant and North Castle.

"Hurricane Sandy toppled countless trees throughout New York City's watershed, including many at Kensico that were planted when the reservoir was built roughly a century ago," New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Carter Strickland said in a statement. "Removing and replacing these trees will improve public safety and aesthetics while also protecting the quality of the city's drinking water."

The forest management project will focus on four areas located off Nannyhagen Road, Route 120 and West Lake Drive, according to city officials. High winds and rain during Sandy toppled or damaged as much as 90 percent of the trees in some of those areas.

"It is very important to the Town of North Castle that DEP is taking the initiative to fully restore the forestlands around Kensico Reservoir, especially at Nannyhagen Road," North Castle Supervisor Howard Arden said. "I'm confident that the plans they have will improve public safety and greatly lessen the impacts from future storms."

Mount Pleasant Town Supervisor Joan Maybury also voiced support for the plan.

Most of the trees that are to be removed around Nannyhagen Road are spruce trees that can be repurposed as lumber.

The new trees will be planted in the spring, officials said.

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