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Sunnyside Shines’ Streetscaping Program Gets $57,000 Boost, Plenty of Trees Now Coming

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.

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RickDAngryWallofText your right so many things left to fix im for trees all the way but i see to see justification for rails and living here since i was 3 years old ive seen the gentrification thats going on. Immigrants have a hard time making money to pay rent in this part of the woods.


This neighborhood is full of people who do not care about it. Throw garbage on the floor, write graffiti, let their dogs do what they want wherever. It is not an economic issue, but an issue of caring and not caring. The sooner these people leave the sooner the neighborhood gets better. Raise rents, make more co-ops, condos and houses. If people have a stake in the neighborhood they will care. Sorry to offend people but it is the truth. The people who have no stake in this neighborhood just don’t care about it.

Flores 65

@Plain Spoken

That comes to show how stupid people like him are in this neighborhood. People are getting more dumb than ever. They don’t even deserve to live here.

Plain Spoken

Today a man was walking his pit bull without a leash on 45th St near Skillman. A woman on the other side of the street tells him the dog should be on a leash. He says, “What are you going to do about it? Call 311. Call 311.” Then his dog stopped to shit. He didn’t clean it up.


@Lisa the guards have an “open” side facing toward the street to make it easier parked cars to open doors. It helps keep the guards from getting slammed around, bent, dislodged.

I agree to a point on the height, but these look like a standard sized tree guard. Their may be some cost savings involved – allowing the BID to outfit more of the trees.


The amount of litter is pretty bad in some areas…I would add scratch-off lottery tickets to the list of litter items that plague our neighborhood.


Rick Duro, all great points but here’s one more for dog owners: please do not have your dog urinate in the tree pits, it is very harmful to the tree particularly new, young trees. Dogs should be brought to the curb to urinate. As for the pigs (not just dog owners) who litter and soil our streets, sidewalks, bushes etc., there needs to be a way to publicly shame these miscreants perhaps a Facebook or Instagram page for posting pictures of Sunnyside’s Worst.


I don’t understand why the guards don’t go all the way around and why they are not higher. I see people walking their dogs into these areas and letting them poop and pee.

Dov pincus

@Eurozone…it is a cultural thing and you are right…what I find amusing is how we are told to embrace diversity and how it makes us stronger…I fail to see how I ” benefit” from my third world neighbors and this so called multicultaralism…I suppose the bigot label will be stamped on me as people will ignore the obvious truth..


Yeah yeah relax just meant trees shouldn’t be the main priority, Sunnyside has enough trees already, yeah there are some spots where its dry, big deal, its not hard to put in a couple of trees.

By the way people are never going to stop. People are here from all different countries some dont even know what a trash can is. Its a culture issue, its a mindset. They just dont care and never will, at least until laws are more agressive, strict and actually enforced and not only for “one day” but every day. Then people will actually “think” twice before laying it on the street, because they know it’ll hurt their pocket.

Kramden's Delicious Marshall

Eurozone wrote “We don’t need trees.”

I feel sorry for you if you feel that way.

I suppose you don’t need shade or oxygen either.

Tree pits also help filter out rain water and slow its journey to the sewer system, thus decreasing the chances of overflowing in a heavy storm. I suppose you don’t need clean water either.

Sunnysidr Is Blooming

I’m sorry Mr. Eurozone but we do need trees and it is not a rich or poor issue. There is no reason to throw garbage anywhere but a garbage can. There is also no reason to scrawl graffiti on every surface. It is people in this neighborhood who are doing these things and they’ve got to stop it.


Hey Rick da angry whatever you are? What are the needs and oh my god what are the solutions? Do you have any or are you another Sunnyside Post reader who has criticisms but no solutions? Are you one of the Sunnyside pseudo intellectuals who thinks he’s morally above others because he had trouble affording the rents? I say put up or shut up. I’m sure you’ll do neither. I like the nice word – “veneer.” I have a better one “fake.”

Hoe lie

Does anyone have an idea what this guy is talking about. Maybe if he put his money where his mouth is we’d have a nicer neighborhood.


It must be frustrating to people who want to justify the expensive rent when there’s so many poor conditions all over. This is why ideas like a plaza are so piss poor. This neighborhood has real needs and all I see are beautification attempts that are nothing more than Veneers .

Sunnyside Is Blooming

Rick Duro: You are right on about the garbage dumped in the tree pits, wells or boxes. Whatever you want to call them. I had a mini cleanup of these tree areas in May. In July I am hoping to use paid high school interns to a have a neighborhood wide cleanup of these tree areas. I am looking for people around the neighborhood to help me care for the trees. What is the good of planting new trees if we are not going to care for the old ones. Contact me at [email protected] to help. Stop throwing garbage around the trees. Throw it in the garbage cans. And the reason there are not enough garbage cans in our neighborhood is because people dump illegal garbage in them and they are removed.


Sorry 7train, you’re definitely right now that I see it. I did it on my phone and forgot.



You make excellent points but please remember: paragraphs are your friend.

Rick Duro

The amount of trash I see dumped into tree boxes is absolutely disgusting- dog poop, bags of household trash, food, etc. It shows just how lazy, disrespectful and ignorant some people are. The amount of effort it takes to clean up your mess is minimal. The excuse I often hear is “There are no trash cans, garbage bags anywhere”. That is a cop out, and complete BS. Carry it home with you. These slobs cover all groups in our ‘hood- dog owners not picking up, parents not teaching their kids to properly throw their garbage away (leaving the playground & schoolyard a disaster), people who eat while sitting on the benches along the park and toss their food on the ground with a garbage can 5 feet away, car drivers who empty the mess from their car onto the curb, construction workers that dump their garbage near the handball courts on 43rd st., the Hennessey guy- there are, literally SCORES, of small Hennessey bottles in the bushes along 40th St going toward 43rd ave & along 43rd ave going toward 41st. street. Bottles filled with a ‘mysterious’ yellow liquid are also discarded along PS 150, I imagine they are left there by folks that drive a lot and can’t get to a bathroom. How do I know all this? I walk through our ‘hood a lot w/ my dog and have to do my best to keep her away from this crap. Do the right thing and throw your trash away, these tree boxes are not garbage cans. SUDS did a Pick Up The Poop Day about 6 weeks ago, we covered 39th to 46th streets, Qns blvd to Skillman Ave. We found what we have in the past, majority of poop left by people with small dogs. It doesn’t matter if you own a chihuahua or a great dane, pick it up. There wasn’t as much poop as we thought we’d find, and that’s a good thing. We get bags donated to us by various businesses in the ‘hood and people are using them outside the park. It’s never going to be perfect. There are always going to be people that refuse to fulfill their obligations, but from what I see, the poop situation has improved. It can still be better. The worst section we found was on 43rd st between 43rd ave and Skillman, along the parking lot and schoolyard. No eyes there most of the day, so it’s easy to make a ‘clean’ getaway. We will be forwarding that info to JVB and see if we can get a ‘stake-out’ set up by the Dept of Health and/or Dept of Sanitation, the 2 city agencies that actually can write tickets for that offense. The problem is they need to be caught in the act. My theory has always been that these ‘poopertrators’ do pick up when someone is near/watching, ad why do I only see it happen a couple of times a year, with the amount of time I spend roaming through the area w/ my dog? Just 10 people not picking up is about 140 piles on our sidewalks each week, that’s all it takes. 1 pile left is too many, same goes for the non dog owning public, there is way too much of that trash on our streets. Trees were planted on 43rd Ave between 43rd st and 42nd st, within ONE day they were covered in cigarette butts, c’mon people…do the right thing.

43rd & 43rd

$57,000 for 27 trees and guards? Is everyone insane?

Give me a call . . . I’d be happy to undercut your contractor and plant a tree for only $2100.


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