NEW YORK (WCBS 880)New York City plans to replace dozens of trees uprooted in last September’s tornadoes.

City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said Macdonald Park in Forest Hills took a great deal of damage.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports.

“It looked like a war had been fought there. All of these beautiful trees had been blown apart in their crowns and were lying all over the place,” he said.

This weekend volunteers will replant 80 trees with the help of the City’s Million Trees NYC initiative, the New York Restoration Project and JetBlue Airlines.

“These will be nice-sized trees that will go in there. They are not tiny little saplings,” Benepe said.

A city-wide tree planting event will also take place on April 30.

“The amazing thing was we had volunteers come out right away,” Benepe said. “We’re looking for committed volunteers. We’re pretty well signed up for Macdonald Park, but we’re still looking for people to sign up to volunteer to plant trees on our Million Trees planting day, which is on April 30, or to help water trees.”

Benepe was appointed commissioner by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on January 25, 2002.

Comments (2)
  1. Cheryl Cuddeback says:

    For a little history about the MacDonald Family click here:

  2. Cheryl Cuddeback says:

    MacDonald Park was alive and aglow with activities and smiles this past Saturday. Food was in abundance, children played with shovels and pails digging up dirt and woodchips that were earlier used for the morning’s plantings of trees. Jet Blue sponsored this event for replenishing those trees that were ripped from their 100 year home during last October’s Tornado.
    Music and announcers took to the air waves. The Synagogue across the street just ended their Saturday service. Folks from the congregation strolled across Gerald Place to be enchanted by a friendly snake, just one of the many visiting animals. Nearby a turtle had just woken up. An owl and falcon each flared their feathers as Alfie, one of the neighborhood’s dogs, walked by their temporary domain.
    Colorful long flags waved in the gentle breeze slowing down curious drivers along Queens Blvd. This was the real first day of Spring. Not the official one that took place several weeks ago. There was sweet warmth all around. The scant heat of sun was a welcomed sensation.
    Volunteers who helped plant the trees were sitting on benches eating a bountiful spread of free food. They wore white tea shirts with green lettering saying ‘One Thing That’s Green’. Most were high school age. Older folks were strolled around in their wheelchairs. They could have been old enough to be at the original dedication of the park on April 25, 1933 hosted by the MacDonald Family in honor of one of the brothers who served in WW1 back. But when asked, none of them recalled the park’s the rich history. The only clue is the formidable bronze statue of Gerald MacDonald standing proudly in his army uniform.
    The MacDonald family was dust in the wind that day. Their history buried deep in library archives and what few family members are still alive. About the only remnant comes in the form of piece of land where old and young alike build new memories. A place where countless newborns have been strolled by their Moms and old men have played chess. On April 9th, 2011, the park’s energy was vibrantly alive with good old-fashioned happiness. And all because someone was moved with love to honor a brother who served in WW1. The history may be forgotten but the spirit of the land lives.

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