Tree giveaway growing roots in Forest Hills
by Michael Perlman
May 21, 2014 | 1264 views | 1 1 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An annual spring and fall tradition is the sight of Queens residents who gather in MacDonald Park to pick up their free tree at the Forest Hills Tree Giveaway Event.

On Sunday, 200 trees found new homes in just 90 minutes, culminating with the 1,045th tree donated at the sixth giveaway since 2011.

“Trees symbolize beauty, serenity, clean air, and shade,” said Joan Diner. “I raised plants and trees throughout my life in my apartment and my backyard. Now I am looking forward to planting my young trees in my garden, and will take pleasure out of watching them mature into full grown trees.”

The Forest Hills Tree Giveaway was sponsored by the Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance, New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and MillionTreesNYC. Along with community partners, which in Forest Hills included the Rego-Forest Preservation Council, Trylon Vet Care, Compost Collective, and Green Mountain Energy, NYRP has hosted 90 events and donated greater than 12,000 trees this spring.

“I am sincerely overjoyed to have adopted two trees for my daughter’s new home, as well as mine,” said adopter Lisa Jaume. “In the days leading up to it, my daily drive to work became an activity where I began to observe the trees on my path with such profound interest. I became intrigued by the sizes, shapes, and colors.”

At this giveaway, adopters could select a Tulip, Eastern Redbud, Black Walnut or River Birch tree. Adoption certificates named trees after local landmarks, street names, and notable residents.

Edible features are found on the Black Walnut tree and the Eastern Redbud, which has flowers that can be eaten raw and bean pods. River Birch has peeling bark which handles flooding or soil compaction. Tulip trees are among the Queens giants; they live a long time and provide a huge canopy.

“Diversity in an urban forest is incredibly important, as the American urban forest has been decimated several times over from its reliance on single trees,” said Mike Mitchell of NYRP.

Mitchell hears many inspirational stories at the giveaway events.

“The tree will grow and change, and then it provides shade for a kid to play under or fruit to eat,” said Mitchell. “It reminds us that change is an inevitable fact of life, and we can appreciate how beautiful change can be.”

Photos from the event can be found Facebook by searching Forest Hills Tree Giveaways

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Gayle R.
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May 23, 2014
Thanks Michael for all the work you do to support and beautify our community!!