Monday, June 20, 2011

6/12/11 Tree Giveaway Is A Success - Greenery Restored Borough-Wide!

One week breezed right by, and Forest Hills, Rego Park, and other communities in Queens and beyond, became a bit greener as a result of the Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance Tree Giveaway Event on Sunday, June 12th from 1 PM - 3 PM, which included the members of Rego-Forest Preservation Council. It was a preservation event for the records!

Nearly 150 people, including homeowners, property managers, and supers, lined up in historic MacDonald Park on 70th Ave & Queens Blvd (circle), and the spirit of Gerald MacDonald, which prevails in the park's centerpiece statue, took great pride in the enthusiasm of tree adoptees. The earliest adoptees began lining up around 10 AM, hoping for their first chance of adopting either a Blackgum tree or 1 of 2 varieties of Cherry, by completing a tree adoption agreement. In total, 100 trees were donated, but many people had to be wait-listed for a potential future 4BNPA tree giveaway event. The trees were approximately 7 - 8 ft, were potted, and weighed 30 lbs. All trees have since been planted on private property.

Michael Perlman, Chairman of Rego-Forest Preservation Council & Queens VP of the Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance began coordinating the event shortly after last September's tornado, by sending a proposal to the NY Restoration Project. Volunteers from 4BNPA and Rego-Forest Preservation Council joined forces. Forest Hills Jewish Center was the holding site for the trees prior to the event, and Key Food loaned load luggers to help transfer trees to MacDonald Park.

Steve Goodman, a board member of Rego-Forest Preservation Council, designed and presented certificates to tree adoptees, naming each tree on the basis of local "landmarks," notable residents, and historic street names. Tree names included the Trylon Theater, Hollywood Lanes, Roman (Roman Ave which is now 72nd Ave), Colonial (Colonial Ave, now 110th St), Helen Keller, Fred Silverman, Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage, etc.

Students of the Queens Community House Beacon Program designed a canvas depicting 2 varieties of Cherry tree. They also incorporated a poem on their reaction to the tornado, and how they felt after planting trees to restore MacDonald Park at the April 9th volunteer tree planting event, One Thing That's Green.

Michael Perlman explains, "It was inspirational to see the smiles on the faces of tree adoptees, and restore our historic tree canopy, especially since the 9/16/10 macroburst accounted for an approximate 3,113 fallen trees in Queens alone, while affecting sections of Brooklyn and Staten Island. Hopefully, no more mature trees will be cut down, and hopefully, there will be no more tornadoes. We owe gratitude to all who volunteered, and to those who adopted trees! Our organization has already began visualizing a future tree giveaway event, so stay tuned."

The tree giveaway event was made possible by the Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance in partnership with New York Restoration Project and MillionTreesNYC (MTNYC), and through the generous support of Put Down Roots tree giveaway sponsor JetBlue, and MTNYC lead sponsors BNP Paribas and Toyota.

A trailer from a VA nursery arrives at 8 AM on June 10th to deliver 100 trees.
Volunteers recruited by Michael Perlman committed to a labor of love, by transporting the trees into a holding area, 2 days prior to the event.

Assembly line of Cherry & Blackgum trees in their holding area.

Moving trees from the holding area into MacDonald Park on 6/12

The trees take center stage, in preparation for the adoptees.
Some of the early risers, eager to paint our community green!

Some of the tree adoptees!

QCH Beacon Program students design a creative & touching mural capturing the theme of the tornado's fury & how they felt restoring MacDonald Park on 4/9, & volunteering on 6/12. Let's take inspiration from our young.
Planting a heart
Michael Perlman poses with the Beacon Program
NY Restoration Project
Harmony of Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance & Rego-Forest Preservation Council
Some of the members of Rego-Forest Preservation Council & 4BNPA
A local JHS student lends a helping hand.
May our trees prosper! Photo by David Kramer


Our Flickr photoset features our preparation for the event, the faces behind volunteers &  tree adoptees posing with their trees, and some trees which have since been planted: 


1. NY1 News & Forest Hills Patch coverage from the event:

2. Times Ledger, Forum West, & Forest Hills Patch coverage preceding the event:

3. Our 5/22 press release featuring the event flyer, before & after tornado photos and a personal account, and more background information leading up to the event:


1. Please send any tree planting photos to for inclusion in the flickr photoset, & credit will be granted.

2. If you are interested in being added to our mailing list for a future tree giveaway event, please e-mail us as well.

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