July 16, 2011 By Christian Murray
Hundreds of trees will be planted in Sunnyside and Woodside within the next two years, according to the neighborhood’s political leaders.
State Sen. Mike Gianaris, who wrote a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in April insisting that more trees be planted on the south side of Queens Blvd, said that the first wave of tree planting is likely to begin in October.
The trees will come from two programs. Some will come as a result of the “Greening Western Queens” project, where 850 trees will be planted throughout Sunnyside, Woodside, Astoria and LIC over a three year period. The remainder will come from Mayor Bloomberg’s one million trees program.
Gianaris said that councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan are “pushing hard for the barren areas of Sunnyside and Woodside to get trees.”
He said the three of them have had a productive meeting with the Parks Department and the City Parks Foundation and are optimistic that many new trees will planted in those areas soon. Gianaris has been calling for more trees on 48th Ave., 47th Ave., Queens Blvd and 43rd Ave (between 39th and 48th Streets).
“It’s rare to have such long stretches without trees,” Gianaris said in April. “The city has done a good job in planting trees throughout the city, but I think there have been some parts of Sunnyside (and Woodside) that have been overlooked.”
The “Greening Western Queens” program stems from a settlement between Con Edison and the Western Queens Power for the People Campaign, a nonprofit that advocated for reparations from the utility company following the 2006 blackout.