The Tree Project

Tree Project Halted Due to Sea Level Rise in the Hudson River.

The entire Beacon waterfront was affected by the storm surge in October from Sandy. It brought the river high into Riverfront Park, causing erosion along the shore of the park, especially on the north and northwest edges. The leading edge of the storm surge came half way into the courtyard where our storage sheds are located. There were several feet of water inside the Beacon Sloop Club, and one foot of water inside Scenic Hudson’s River Center at Long Dock Park. The road, parking lot, and entrance to the train station were also flooded. In 2011, Irene and Lee caused extensive flooding at the Beacon waterfront as well.

Sea level rise predictions have been updated in the past year, with some estimates suggesting that nine to twelve inches of sea level rise in the Hudson River could be expected by 2020. Maps of the Beacon waterfront indicate that by 2020 much of Riverfront Park could be underwater with a one-foot storm surge at high tide, much less than the storm surge observed with Sandy. Since the lifespan and benefit from trees is anticipated to be in the 50 to 100 year range, the park is no longer a suitable site for planting trees. We have decided to stop the project. Ten trees were planted in five years as part of the project and their shade and beauty is a benefit to all. Furthermore, their roots secure the soil during times of flooding. We thank everyone who supported this project.

A special thanks to Cindy Cowden for spearheading this project and for her dedicated care of the trees that were planted.