Trees are finally back in Shady Park after being wrecked during Hurricane Sandy.
On Nov. 20, local residents joined Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria), Friends of Shady Park and the Long Island City Partnership to celebrate the restoration of Andrews Grove in Long Island City, affectionately referred to as Shady park.
“The 10 trees we have planted here will once again restore the shade back to Shady Park,” Van Bramer said. “This playground is the heart of Long Island City and with this replanting ceremony we are celebrating the end of a 13-month process to bring Andrews Grove back to life.
“I thank the Parks Department for working diligently with my office as well as the Friends of Shady Park to make sure Andrews Grove is returned back to its original state.”
As the trees are young, they will not be large enough to provide as much shade just yet but it will allow residents who felt passionately about the leafy green space to enjoy the scenery a little more.
Van Bramer helped secure a $10,000 grant from JetBlue and Warner Bros. brought 10 new trees to the park which sustained significant damage to play equipment, safety surfaces, fencing as well as its tall signature trees.
Once the replanting is complete, Shady Park will be home to four Zelcovas, three Pin Oaks, two Silver Lindens and one Dogwood.
“For the past year, Shady Park became Sandy’s Park as the storm denied our community a cherished green space,” said state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria). “Today we reclaim Shady Park for our children and for future generations. My gratitude extends to Councilman Van Bramer, Sheila Lewandowski, Caroline Paul and the Friends of Shady Park, and the entire Long Island City Community.”
Though the loss of the original trees hit the community hard, Sheila Lewandowski, the co-founder of Friends of Shady Park, said that the experience did have a silver lining,
“The loss of the trees really hit everyone hard,” Lewandowski said. “The tragedy brought us together. Council Member Van Bramer listened to this community when we said Shady Park is special to everyone in the community. We mourned and organized and he responded. Replacing the trees brought us all together.
“Every community has a place, a spot that is special for everyone. That’s what Shady Park is. Our new trees will sit with the remaining old trees just like how the children play in the park and our elders sit in the shade.”