Jan 30, 2014 By Christian Murray
The Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District has launched a street tree initiative to improve the streetscape in the Sunnyside commercial district.
The BID aims to place tree guards and bollards around all the trees in the BID district, with the support of local businesses. It also plans to plant new trees and expand tree pits where necessary.
The BID district covers all properties fronting Queens Boulevard from 38th Street to 50th Street, as well as Greenpoint Avenue from Queens Boulevard to mid-block between 42nd and 43rd Streets.
Sunnyside Shines kicked off its tree guard program earlier this month by showcasing two “model blocks,” which feature such improvements.
Local property owners White Castle and Pickman Realty are the program’s first sponsors, providing street tree improvements on two blocks: the south side of Queens Boulevard between 43rd Street and 44th Street, and the west side of 46th Street between Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue.
These two blocks serve as a model of the improvements to come to the entire district, which will be funded by sponsorships from individuals and business owners as well as Sunnyside Shines.
The streetscape improvements aim to complement the tree care and bulb planting completed during a community clean-up day last fall, co-sponsored by Sunnyside Shines, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, Partnerships for Parks, TreesNY and BIG!Compost.
“It is very important to maintain healthy street trees along Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director of the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District.
“Street trees provide so many benefits to the district – from creating a buffer between vehicular traffic and pedestrians on the sidewalk, cleaner air and helping create a more attractive neighborhood to shop and do business in,” Thieme said.
Opportunities are available to sponsor individual tree guards within the Sunnyside Shines district.
Thieme said sponsors will be recognized with a plaque on the sponsored tree pit. She said individuals or businesses interested in sponsorship are invited to contact Sunnyside Shines office for more information.