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A tree grows in Bayside – QNS.com

A tree grows in Bayside

Bay Terrace resident Suzanne Foxx cannot wait for spring - not because she dislikes the cold weather but because she is eager to see the pear tree recently planted in front of her home in full bloom.
City officials placed the 15-foot sapling along the sidewalk in December at Foxx’s request as part of the mayor’s “Million Trees NYC” initiative, which calls for one million new trees in the five boroughs over the next decade.
“It’s wonderful to see something so young that is at the beginning of its life in front of my house,” she said joyfully.
However, for several months, the stretch of curb along 23rd Avenue was bare but for a tree stump and the garbage cans and bags left by the building’s residents on trash day.
Throughout the 15 years that Foxx has lived on the street, a towering maple tree, which she estimated between 20 and 25 feet, stood outside of her home. In the spring of last year, however, the tree was mysteriously taken down, Foxx said.
“The [maple] tree itself would bud every year; it’s something that we would look forward to until one time it didn’t,” she said, adding, “As soon as we noticed the old maple tree gone I started to make the phone calls.”
Foxx phoned her local Community Board 7, 3-1-1, and the Parks Department to request that a new tree be planted in front of her house, which sits next to the Bay Club buildings.
In a letter to The Queens Courier, she wrote of her experience with Parks, saying, “At this point, I was so impressed that I believed I was conversing with a ‘Ranger Smith’ look-alike - brimmed hat, crisp uniform, badge and a keen desire to confiscate my picnic basket. Wow, did Queens, New York actually have a group of tree-hugging employees who cared about green things?”
Nevertheless, the process was not quite that simple. It took numerous phone calls by Foxx and about a year-and-a-half before the maple tree’s stump was removed and a new tree took its place.
“I awoke one morning to brave the first snow of winter, bundled and ready for the storm. So sweet was the sight of a frail, yet supported pear tree swathed in mulch, each branch laden with snow’s frothy icing,” Foxx wrote in her letter.
So far, Foxx’s 17-year-old son Brandon has seen the pear tree, but her 23-year-old daughter Danielle has not gotten to get a look at the payoff for her mother’s work to make Bayside greener.
“I think that any community benefits from having more trees and parks and even the bird feeder that I keep on my terrace brings a little bit of wildlife to the neighborhood,” Foxx said.
Foxx was so thrilled about the planting that she wrote to The Queens Courier recently to publicly thank the city, Parks Department and CB7.
“Thank you also for proving that even a small town request can be granted by the big guys,” she wrote.
Parks Department officials said that readers who want a tree planted on their street should visit www.milliontreesnyc.org, where they can either submit an online form or apply for a tree-planting permit.

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