MillionTreesNYC was established to greenify public spaces in the city, but private spaces, including backyards, apartment building courtyards and community gardens, are not included in the initiative.
In an effort to bring some of the greenery to Queens’ private areas, the Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance and the New York Restoration Project will be giving away 200 trees on Sunday in MacDonald Park in Forest Hills at Queens Boulevard and 70th Avenue from 1 to 3 p.m.
The 4BNPA event is one of 30 tree giveaways to be held this season, adding 4,500 new trees to the city landscape.
“Many community residents did not realize the benefits of trees, until many of the trees, some of which were a century old, succumbed in seconds during the September 2010 macroburst, which was followed by Hurricane Irene in August 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in October 2012,” tree-giveaway event-organizer and preservationist Michael Perlman said. “Trees enhance a community’s aesthetics and property values, and most significantly contribute to its environmental sustainability.”
New York Restoration Project Community Initiatives Manager Mike Mitchell recalled a giveaway held last year as being particularly moving.
Six species of trees will be available for residents to take home. They include: the dawn redwood, Persian ironwood, crepe myrtle, witch-hazel and two types of magnolia trees.
In addition, volunteer Steve Goodman is designing tree adoption certificates so that each tree adopted can be named after local historic sites, notable local figures and historic street names.
“The trees we give away will clean our air and water, reducing runoff and filtering particulate matter from the air for generations,” Mitchell said. “The value of a city’s urban forest will only increase as rainstorms become more severe and levels of particulate matter increase in our atmosphere.”