More Trees For MacDonald Park

The Queen’s Gazette
Trees Return To MacDonald Park
By Jason D. Antos

MacDonald Park in Forest Hills was reborn on April 9, with the planting of 79 new trees.

More than 500 volunteers lined up to participate in what was part of the fourth annual “One Thing That’s Green” event sponsored by the MillionTreesNYC initiative, the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and JetBlue Airlines.

The park, which had been completely treeless for the past seven months, was the epicenter for the macroburst that pummeled Queens on the late afternoon of September 16, 2010.

Due to the storm, the once lush green canopy had been completely destroyed with many trees cut in half while others completely disintegrated. According to city Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, “the park looked as if a war had been fought”.

Tornados also touched down in Flushing, Kew Gardens Hills, Brooklyn and Staten Island destroying a total of 3,500 trees citywide including almost 100 trees in the Forest Hills area as well.

The event was attended by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Borough President Helen Marshall, state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Assemblymember Andrew Hevesi, Benepe and Councilmember Karen Koslowitz.

“It’s such a beautiful day and I know we will all work hard to make MacDonald Park even more beautiful than it was before,” Marshall said.

Described as a “shady oasis”, MacDonald Park once featured trees and shrubs that were arranged to conform to its three circular plazas.

The project for replanting the trees was initiated when Benepe approached NYRP founder Bette Midler after the September storms and asked for the group’s help in replanting trees in the park.

Volunteers watch as team members of the MillionTreesNYC initiative and the New York Restoration Project demonstrate the correct way to plant a Linden tree.

The new trees will be about 5 years old and 14 feet tall and will include several species, such as the Japanese Zelkova, Red Oak and Linden trees, Winter King and Thornless Hawthorns. They will be planted in footprints of the fallen trees.

“It is hard to believe how this park once looked,” Hevesi said. “I know that with the help of everyone here today, this will be a great place for families once again.”

MacDonald Park, Queens Boulevard between Yellowstone Boulevard and 70th Road, is 1.4-acres of open space and was named in honor of Captain Gerald MacDonald, a World War I soldier and former resident of Forest Hills.

Breakfast and lunch was provided and all volunteers received free tee shirts.

“This is a very special community,” Koslowitz said. “You can see by today’s turnout how much people really care.”
MacDonald Park is the second park NYRP has re-populated with trees destroyed in the September storms. The first was Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick.

Share A little Divinity

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Verified by MonsterInsights