New York Park Becomes Home to Trees from Art Installation
Fifty trees that had been part of an art installation have found a permanent home in New York’s Hudson River Park. The art installation and eventual replanting speak to humans’ profound effect on the planet as well as the capacity for humans to contribute consciously and honestly to replacing natural habitats around the world.
Photographer Anne de Carbuccia had transformed an elevated exterior in the Westbeth Artists Housing into an art installation titled, “One • One Planet One Future.” De Carbuccia’s exhibition had recurrent themes of water and humans’ vain attempts to control it. Inside the exhibition, visitors navigated pools of water via walkways that led to photographic artworks. The qualities of water — reflections, sound, movement — enhanced viewers’ experience of the artworks and their relationship to them.
The site of the art installation, an historic complex, is a last remnant of the original High Line rail, pre-redevelopment, and the installation incorporated trees planted along the untouched stretch of tracks along Washington Street outside Westbeth. The installation was sponsored by the Time Shrine Foundation. Its mission statement is, “Through photography, film, and art installations, the foundation highlights human-caused threats to the planet, including water scarcity, species extinction, and pollution to inspire individual action to confront these challenges.”
Once the exhibition closed, a search began to ensure that the trees found a home where they would continue to thrive. Friends of Hudson River Park was contacted, and the project to move the trees prior to winter’s full frost began.The tree replanting project is a collaboration between the Friends of Hudson River Park and the Time Shrine Foundation.
The project involved several stages, including bringing in a horticultural team to assess the vitality of the trees, hiring a transportation company able to perform the delicate move, transferring the trees to truck beds, and bringing the trees to the Pier 40 nursery.
Picture these trees being uprooted and moved. Horticulturalists work alongside a team with trucks and a crane. They carefully place each tree in the crane’s sling. The crane operator lowers the precious cargo into the truck bed. One by one, each travels to the nursery. The process repeats, with nearly 50 trees replanted.
Horticulturalists took over after the move and have been planting the trees in new homes throughout the Park. Locations to date include the Tribeca and Greenwich Village sections of Hudson River Park as well as in the Habitat Garden in Chelsea.
Hudson River Park Trust staff aims to have all of the trees safely planted before the winter. You can join them in the seasons to come as they watch the new greenery grow. They’re grateful that such an environmentally engaged community continues to put down real roots in the Park.
Hudson River Park consistently strives to raise awareness and promote park stewardship through a wide variety of free and low-cost programs and activities that encourage environmental education. The collaboration with the Time Shrine Foundation is one of many examples of Hudson River Park’s deep engagement with its neighboring communities. Their efforts nurture, sustain, and enrich the environment along the West Side and the people who visit the park in order to connect with nature.