Sandy Cleanup Goes On At Snug Harbor Cultural Center
One of Staten Island's cultural gems suffered significant damage in Hurricane Sandy, and while a lot of repair work has already been done at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, there's still a lot more to do. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
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A 90-year-old beech tree used to be a mainstay for visitors to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center.
Standing some 60 feet tall, it once overlooked the pond garden and provided shade to those who came to sit beneath it. But Hurricane Sandy ripped the tree from its root bed and knocked it over, taking with it a fence and many smaller trees underneath it.
"It was really wind, it was wind that took down very old, beautiful trees," said Lynn Kelly of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center.
The beech tree is one of about 60 lost in the storm. Three others, old willow trees in the campus' wetlands area, also came down. A newly-restored boating dock was completely ruined. There was structural damage to several buildings and hundreds of branches scattered all over.
About $300,000 in damage has been counted so far, but that number is expected to grow as more trees are removed.
"We find out that underneath, it's the gardens that are compromised, it's other trees that came down, it's fencing that's been impaled, or it's created small sink holes or compromised ground, and you don't realize it until you start to actually lift," Kelly said.
The woodlands and the wetlands on the south side of the campus remain closed to visitors. With several large trees yet to be removed, organizers said it's simply not safe yet.
"Branches that have broken off and are hanging in trees, they can come down and hit and kill people, actually, so that's a big concern of ours at this point," said Greg Lord, director of horticulture at Snug Harbor Cultural Center.
Significant water damage knocked out the electrical system on the performance stage, making it temporarily unusable. Organizers are hoping to have it fixed by the spring so it doesn't interrupt next year's performance schedule.
"We had a few surprises in store for summer concerts and programming and activities, and I don't want to lose that momentum," Kelly said.
Much of the cleanup work has been done by volunteers. If you'd like to help the effort or make a donation to Snug Harbor, log on to snug-harbor.org.