Thursday, October 10, 2013

Forest Hills Tree Giveaways: A Tradition Since 2011

On Sunday, October 13 from 1 PM to 3 PM, citywide residents will once again line up in MacDonald Park on Queens Boulevard and 70th Avenue, and take home a tree or two among 150 trees being offered. Adopters will then plant their tree outside a privately-owned house or building.

Forest Hills Tree Giveaway coordinator Michael Perlman stated, "A feeling of rejuvenation dominates as our trees and flowers are in bloom each spring, and the inspiration continues as the season passes into autumn. Accompanying the transition is a growing tradition in the heart of Forest Hills, known as the Forest Hills Tree Giveaway."

To make this event possible, Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance (4BNPA) is in partnership with New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and MillionTreesNYC, which is a PlaNYC initiative with NYC Parks and NYRP. Lead sponsors are Toyota and TD Bank.

The event will be 4BNPA’s fifth tree giveaway since June 2011, which will bring its donations up to 800 trees. Adopters can select from 4 varieties, which will consist of 50 Tulip Trees, 50 Sweetbay Magnolias, 25 Pagoda Dogwoods, and 25 Allegheny Serviceberry trees. This will add to the diversity of trees donated at earlier events, which include Black Gum, Pin Oak, Crape Myrtle, Dawn Redwood, Weeping Beech, Japanese Maple, Eastern Redbud, and Black Walnut. Even though most trees are planted locally at homes and buildings such as the Howard Apartments, Parker Towers, Park Manor, and the Park Embassy, some adopters grant new life to other boroughs.

NYRP began coordinating tree giveaways in 2008. As of 2011, 4BNPA had the mission of advocating for landmarks and curbing overdevelopment, but began realizing how restoring NYC’s tree canopy is a significant complement to the city’s architectural achievements. The organizations’ relationship then began.

Perlman stated, "Many community residents did not realize the benefits of trees, until century-old trees succumbed in seconds during the September 2010 macroburst, which was followed by Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy. Trees enhance a community’s aesthetics, property values, and our environmental sustainability."

NYRP Community Initiatives Manager Mike Mitchell explained, “Trees clean our air and water, reducing run-off and filtering particulate matter from the air for generations. The value of a city’s urban forest will only increase as rainstorms become more severe and levels of particulate matter increase.”

As adopters plant trees, they also plant roots to stories which will unfold over generations and bond community residents. Some take photos alongside their tree and coordinate tree planting ceremonies, as in the case of residents of The Fontaine. At the Quality Gardens and Ruskin Gardens co-ops, volunteer residents spanning all ages planted trees, and documented their work on a new blog.

With hopes that each tree adopter will feel as if their tree is part of their extended family, volunteer Steve Goodman is designing tree adoption certificates, which will also educate the adopters. Trees will be named after historic sites such as the Trylon Theater, notable figures such as Helen Keller, and historic street names such as Roman Avenue. In addition to the 4BNPA, volunteers will be derived from Rego-Forest Preservation Council, Trylon Vet Care, Rego Park – Forest Hills Lions Club, Queens Boulevard Restoration Group, Queens Paideia School, and Aguilar Gardens. Forest Hills Jewish Center and Key Food will also play a role.

On October 13, those who wish to adopt a potted tree should line up earlier than 1 PM at MacDonald Park.

To reserve a tree and view photos and specifications, visit
“Like” Forest Hills Tree Giveaways on Facebook: ForestHillsTreeGiveaways


  1. Looking forward to it!

    1. A great global awareness event right in our backyard. Great job to all involved!