I want to say one word to you. Just one word.... Plastics.”
Mr. McGuire, The Graduate

Friday, April 22, 2011

Knit for Trees: our Spot on Governors Island

Today Figment got special permission to visit Governors Island while it's still closed to the public. The artists took the ferry across the river, and we were able to see the spot where the artwork is going to live for the summer. The sculpture park has amazing projects and of course, the mini-golf that has been sponsored by Figment for the past 4 years. My friend Sarah came with me, and thankfully corrected all my math mistakes when I measured the trees (did you know that 60 + 20 = 80, and not 70!).

Knit for Trees has a beautiful spots along one of the wings of Liggett Terrace. You can download a map of Governors Island here so you can easily find Knit for Trees when the park opens Memorial Day weekend.

The morning was made more exciting by a goose who started attacking Sarah as we walked to measure our first tree! While we started scolding him for being so inhospitable, we noticed that a second goose was a little further up: a mom nesting. He was not being unfriendly, he was just being a good dad!


The project is going to be installed on May 16th, with the help of Sarah and Heather who will do a summer internship with me. My hope is to have the 3 trees is the middle of the walk covered with knitted panels when the island opens. The directive is now: knit faster!!!

Hope to see everyone this summer!


  1. Wouldn't it damage the trees to surround the bark with plastic (even if it's knit); wouldn't this retain moisture, which dould hurt the bark, attracting parasitic pests and growth of moss?

    I would suggest consulting with the Parks Department Forestry department before embarking (debarking?) on this installation.

  2. That's a very good issue to bring up. The sweaters will cover the trunks only, the plastic will not cover the branches, and the project will be up for a very limited time (from May until September). The Parks Department approves all the projects on Governors Island, but I will try and investigate the issue further. Thank you!

  3. I just got word from the Lower East Side Ecology Center, who researched the issue with Trees NY, and this is what they said:

    "As for the health of the trees, I just checked with Trees NY and they said that if the sweaters are loose and not at all strangling the trees that 3 months is probably ok"

    Thank you for bringing up the issue!