Many New York City parks reopened to the public this weekend, but for some, a long road of cleanup and restoration still lies ahead. In Brooklyn's Prospect Park, damage from Hurricane Sandy is massive — the worst sustained by the park in at least 25 years.
The park lost a total of 319 trees. Hundreds of toppled trees, roped off with caution tape, lie scattered throughout the 585-acre park, as nearly 100 damaged trees are waiting to be cut down, piece by piece.
The popular Lincoln Playground on the east side of the park lies in ruins, its jungle-gym mangled by a gigantic fallen oak tree.
"I feel like someone has died," said Charles McMellon, a cleanup volunteer from Park Slope.
Among the fallen trees: nearly 50 planted when the park was created more than 150 years ago.
"To have trees that were planted that long ago come down is really startling," said Spencer Service of the Prospect Park Alliance, the organization that restores, develops and operates the park. "So we're going through a bit of mourning."