Last Tuesday, a sudden storm which downed hundreds of trees in city parks, creating what the Parks Department called the worst damage in 30 years. Our own Joe Schumacher visited Central Park and said the devastation was "heartbreaking" and took note of a raccoon who was confused: "The raccoon was disoriented. It went up and down the tree, looking around. It seemed like it didn't know what to do."

The Central Park Conservancy, which maintains the the park, started clean-up last week and estimates the cost will be in the hundreds of thousands: "Tree canopies were simply wiped away. The most severe damage occurred between 90th and 100th Streets, including a 40" London Plane tree which fell across the East Drive. The Central Park Conservancy deployed 60 operations staff and 17 contractor crews to remove debris and secure affected tree limbs." CPC VP of Operations Neil Calvanese said, "We had a wonderful chestnut tree at 100th Street and Central Park West. Records indicate the tree was planted by the Park's designer, Frederick Law Olmsted, more than 150 years ago." The tree will be removed, but Calvanese also noted the park evolves, "That's the nature of this place. We'll replant and we'll redevelop these beloved landscapes."

You can donate to the Conservancy's post-storm clean-up fund.