NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Imagine walking through Times Square among the crowds and honking horns when suddenly you stumble upon a lush, tranquil forest filled with trees and the sounds of nature.
That is the goal of Marielle Anzelone, an urban botanist who wants to grow a temporary forest in Times Square, CBS2’s Jill Nicolini reported.
“Mostly people just think New York City is like pigeons, weeds and rats,” Anzelone said. “So the idea that New York City has real nature, that New York City has forests and marshes and meadows is so surprising to people.”
Anzelone’s “pop-up forest” would bring nature for all to enjoy straight to the heart of New York City.
Through a Kickstarter crowd-sourcing campaign, she hopes to raise $25,000, which would go toward creating a design and a mini-prototype in Brooklyn.
Anzelone would like to have 70-foot trees.
“It’s not just trees, but forests are so much more than that,” she said. “There’s also shrubs and ferns and wildflowers. You’ll notice as you’re walking, the ground’s not hard underneath. It’s soft. It’s squishy. There’s a layer of leaves, and there’s moss. And then suddenly, the smells are different, and the sounds are different.”
Sound engineers will work on the project to help muffle the sounds of Times Square and to pipe in wildlife noises, including the calls of birds from Inwood Hill Park.
So what do people think about the idea?
“Why not?” one man said.
“No, we want concrete,” another man said. “That’s what we expect here.”
“If they want to see animals, go to a zoo,” one woman added.
“I think it would be cool,” a man said. “Can I go hunting?”
It would bring “a little bit of life here, like it would be beautiful,” said another man.
If the $1.5 million project gets approved by the Times Square Alliance and corporate sponsors come on board, the forest would occupy Times Square for three weeks in June 2016.
Once it is disassembled, it would live on in school yards and pocket parks around the city.