New program offers Sunnysiders trees
Sunnyside and Woodside residents who want trees planted on their streets have two options, according to Kyle Richard, community coordinator with the New York City Parks Foundation.
Place a request with the City Parks Department to request a tree; or get 6 to 8 residents together and request trees from the Greening Western Queens fund.
In most cases it takes about 18 months to 2 years for the Parks Dept. to come out and plant a tree following a request—under Mayor Bloomberg’s 1 million trees program. Meanwhile, under the plan put forward by Greening Western Queens fund, a number of trees could be planted in a much shorter time period. However, with the Greening Western Queens program, a group of residents must provide assurances that they will look after the trees—and attend tree care training.
Richard, who spoke at the Sunnyside/Woodside Lions meeting last Thursday, said that the fund will plant trees in places where a group of people step up and are willing to take care of them. The group will also help teach community groups how to look after them.
He said trees need support and care, and are especially vulnerable in their first 3-5 years.
The Greening Western Queens program is funded by Con Ed., as restitution for the 2006 black out that left Sunnyside/Woodside/LIC and Astoria residents without power for a week. Con Ed agreed to a $63 million settlement– $2 million of which is being used for this program.
Richard said that over the next 3 years the group hopes to plant approximately 850 trees.
To speak to Richard about the program, he can be contacted at KRichard@CityParksFoundation.org or 917-613-5724
Or to put in a request for a tree under Bloomberg’s program, click on: http://www.nycgovparks.org/services/forestry/request
Meanwhile, local political leaders continue to push the city to plant trees on 48th Ave., 47th Ave., Queens Blvd and 43rd Ave (between 39th and 48th Streets
In September, State Sen. Mike Gianaris spoke to the Parks Dept. and urged them to plant trees in this area—since, he said, it lacks sufficient greenery.
“So far some trees have been planted on Queens Blvd., which is a sign they have taken note of our request,” Gianaris said.