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Residents Line Up To Put 'Forest' Back In Forest Hills

Weekend tree giveaway a rousing success in MacDonald Park.

Residents gathered at Sunday in hopes of replacing private trees lost after last September’s tornado hit Forest Hills.

The sponsors of the event included the Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance and MillionTrees NYC, Toyota and JetBlue. Coordinator and Patch contributor Michael Perlman emphasized the importance of rebuilding the community with these trees.

“After the tornado occurred, I thought that I would make a difference and give back to the community. Trees convey life, beauty and they help sustain the environment. We want to plant more trees throughout the neighborhood rather than cutting [trees down.]” Perlman said.

With a total of 100 trees to be given out, people gathered as early as 10 a.m. for an event that started in the early afternoon. The two choices of trees given were cherry and black gum trees which were between seven and eight feet tall.

About 100 people stood and waited in MacDonald Park. Pat Nappo, a representative of Forestdale foster care, arrived at 11:30a.m. to ensure he would get a few trees for his block.

“[The September] tornado came by and took out about 20 of our trees and when this program approached us about giving away trees, we wanted to come here and make sure we get back some of the trees that we lost.”

Another resident arrived at noon looking to put a tree in her backyard. “Even though we weren’t hit hard by the tornado, having a tree in the area would just be an improvement on its own,” she said.

This event, was about giving the neighborhood back the green feeling that separates it from so many other New York City neighborhoods.

“We’re hoping to enhance aesthetics in the neighborhood and make our children proud. It’s all about giving back to the neighborhood and making a difference, with our teamwork, we’re having a really fruitful event — hence the cherry tree!”

Stephen Melnick June 14, 2011 at 12:46 AM
Thanks to Michael Perlman for his outstanding effort in giving back to his community AND environment. Here's hoping that other individuals, groups, and local businesses will join in future greening events in Forest Hills and Rego Park. This was a brilliant and successful project.
Michael Perlman June 15, 2011 at 11:41 PM
Thank you very much Steve for your kind words. I also appreciate your dedicated role in helping us prepare for this event. It was a job well done, and so inspirational to see the smiles on the faces of tree adoptees. Hopefully, a greater percentage of the public will recognize our mission to not only plant new trees, but advocate for the preservation of existing trees. In a majority of cases, there are methods of saving mature trees rather than cutting them down. For example, it is heartbreaking for many residents to witness how the LIRR has cut down many healthy trees, after claiming they were meant to be pruned. This is ongoing. We have to investigate why a circa 150 year-old beautiful tree between Tennis Place Apts & the WSTC Clubhouse in the Forest Hills Gardens near the LIRR (not on the incline near the tracks) is slated to be chopped down on July 1st. There is yellow tape & a sign. It survived the tornado, but in this case, man may be the greatest negative force. There's no replacement for a 150 year-old tree.

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