Sections

Look out, below! City plants trees in Ridge’s ‘Dead Man’s Hill’

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Now, it’s really “Dead Man’s Hill”!

The city has planted trees at the bottom of a popular Bay Ridge sledding slope, turning the hill from a place for a fun day in the snow into an accident waiting to happen.

The trees were planted on the so-called Dead Man’s Hill in Owl’s Head Park, at Colonial Road and Wakeman Place, said Greg Ahl, a member of Community Board 10, who found out about them when he took his nieces to the park for sledding.

“I was surprised to see the new trees,” Ahl said, recalling a bit of local legend about one teen who was paralyzed decades ago after crashing into a tree on the famed suicide hill. “I never thought they would put new ones in over there. They are in a bad spot.”

How bad? The plastic protective fencing around the juvenile trees have already been crushed by sledders. And because the trees are still young, the branches are at the perfect height to injure tots.

“They’re right at the level of kids’ eyes,” said Ahl. “New trees are the worst thing for this hill.”

But not everyone agrees with Ahl.

“We are in desperate need of trees,” said Bernadette Hoban, the president of the Friends and Neighbors of Owl’s Head Park. “My plan is to have more trees, not less.”

Hoban added that her group asked for the trees to replace older trees that are dying, and to discourage adults who play soccer on the lawn.

The city seems to be on board with her plan, as seven new trees near the bottom of the hill are part of a group of 40 planted in the park as part of the city’s Million Trees initiative, said the Parks Department’s Brooklyn Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey.

Jeffrey added that the trees are not a danger to sledders.

“These trees were specifically clustered with other trees and a corridor was left open to accommodate sledding,” Jeffrey said. “In addition, the opposite side of the hill is open for visitors to enjoy sledding.”

Both Hoban and Ahl agree that there’s an easy fix — stationing a row of hay bales in front of the trees to protect sledders as they hurtle downward. A couple of bales were deployed on the day that Ahl was there with his nieces, but not enough to protect sledders, he said. And this weekend, the bales were gone.

Parks officials clearly know the value of the oasis’s steep hill, and even promote sledding there on the agency’s website: “Do you like long walks by the water? Sledding in the winter? We have the perfect match for you! No, this isn’t a personal ad; it’s Owl’s Head Park.”

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Or from Yellow Hook says:
Million Trees! That's why there's so much snow! Tree congestion!

Did anyone ask Mayor for life Mike how many leaves are on a million trees, and how much co2 is released as the leaves disintegrate?
Jan. 27, 2011, 9:44 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
The trees just make sledding more challenging. Now it's more like a slalom than the downhill.
Jan. 27, 2011, 10:54 am
Joey Bots from BotsLand says:
Sigh!!! City worker morons - a lawsuit waiting to happen!!!
Jan. 27, 2011, 12:32 pm
K. from ArKady says:
The trees are angry, and thirst for _human_ blood.
Jan. 27, 2011, 6:14 pm
Rhywun from Bay Ridge says:
The "we need more trees!" crowd must be unaware that most of the top of the hill is covered in trees - how many trees is enough?? Or they just don't care that a successful park accommodates all kinds of humans doing all kinds of things - more than just trees and grass.
Jan. 30, 2011, 3:05 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!