June 13, 2014 By Christian Murray
The streetscape of the Sunnyside commercial district is going to look a whole lot greener.
Sunnyside Shines, which kicked off a campaign to add street trees to the commercial district in January, received word earlier this week that the Queens Borough president’s office is going provide it with a $57,000 grant so it can add 27 new street trees and tree guards throughout the district.
The funds will go a long way toward the BID’s ultimate goal of having 158 trees—all with tree guards—placed throughout the commercial district, which covers Queens Boulevard from 38th Street to 50th Street, as well as Greenpoint Avenue, from 42nd to Queens Boulevard.
Currently, there are 138 trees in the district and eight tree guards.
The eight tree guards went up in January, and were donated by White Castle and Pickman Realty. They are located on 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.
Rachel Thieme, the executive director of the BID, said that another 18 tree guards will be going up between 40th and 45th Street on the northern side of Queens Boulevard next month. Those guards will be paid out of BID funds.
The BID aims to use the Queens Borough president’s grant this fall to plant the 27 trees and put in tree guards. The trees will be added throughout the district, Thieme said.
After the planting, the BID will have 158 trees and 53 tree guards—and will continue the program until every tree has a tree guard.
The BID is seeking sponsors to donate individual tree guards.
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.
“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,” Thieme, the executive director of the BID, said about the program.