Saturday, May 19, 2012

Second Annual Tree Giveaway Event on Sunday

Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance To Hold May 20th Tree Giveaway Event in Forest Hills To Restore NYC's Historic Tree Canopy

NYC's 5 Boroughs (May 12, 2012) - The 5 boroughs are about to become a little greener, thanks to the Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance’s Second Annual Tree Giveaway Event on Sunday, May 20th from 1 to 3 PM in Forest Hills.

Citywide residents will have the chance of adopting one (and possibly more) of 245 trees in MacDonald Park on Queens Boulevard and 70th Avenue, Forest Hills. To make this event possible, Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance (4BNPA) partnered with MillionTreesNYC and New York Restoration Project (NYRP). Toyota is a lead sponsor, and lead partners include PlaNYC, and NYC Parks. 

Adopted trees are required to be planted on private property in the five boroughs. To tie into environmental history, 4BNPA is offering some unique native tree species. Native species will be Eastern Redbud, Florida Dogwood, Northern Red Oak, and Bald Cypress. Serviceberry and Sargent Crabapple are hybrids, but can be classified as natives, in regard to their environmental benefits. Japanese Maple and Amur Maackia will also be available, but are not native. Some trees are flowering, and their maturity heights will vary. Potted trees will be 6 to 10 feet tall, and will come with planting and maintenance handouts. Tree adoption certificates designed by Forest Hills resident Steve Goodman will be distributed, so adopted trees can acquire a sense of identity and education. Trees will be named after former Forest Hills notables, historic street names, and landmarks. 

This spring, NYRP in partnership with citywide community groups is donating 5,000 trees at 30 giveaway events, with ten in Queens. NYRP began coordinating giveaways in 2008, and has since coordinated over 50 events non-inclusive of this season. Inspiration stemmed from the understanding that MillionTreesNYC was focused on greening public spaces, but private homes, religious institutions, and community gardens also represent a great portion of the city, and therefore merit tree-planting.

On September 16, 2010, parts of Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island experienced a rare macroburst. Joseph Bruno of the NYC Office of Emergency Management reported 3,113 fallen trees in Queens alone. Event Coordinator Michael Perlman stated, "As Queens vice president of 4BNPA and a native Forest Hills resident, I documented the devastation locally, and sent a proposal to NYRP, and developed a bond. 4BNPA agreed to host its first tree giveaway event on June 12, 2011, and donated 100 trees to property owners. With the volunteerism of its members and Rego-Forest Preservation Council, this helped restore the natural and historic beauty of Forest Hills, as well as beyond. Following last year’s success, I decided to coordinate another tree giveaway event this spring."

Perlman added, "Many people did not realize the benefits of our trees until some of which were a century-old succumbed in seconds. Trees convey life, beauty, contribute to environmental sustainability, and enhance property values. MacDonald Park was selected as the event site, in order to shed light upon a concentrated space that lost sixty mature trees during the tornado, and to initiate memories of a productive community event." 4BNPA agrees that New York City needs to preserve its existing tree canopy and plant more trees, but some property owners degrade neighborhood aesthetics and environmental benefits by cutting down trees in the name of development-related “progress.”  

On May 20th, those who wish to adopt a tree should line up in MacDonald Park before 1 PM in front of either an online reservation table or a first-time registration table. The first 50 percent of applicants can now reserve their tree online at


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