Well-intentioned tree should be moved

By F.E. Scanlon

During the December tree lightings and related festivities, it was so seemingly easy for the NYC Parks Department to ignore the advocacy of Sen. Tony Avella and Dr. Charles Lombardi, urging department not to plant a tree right outside Lombardi’s medical facility on Francis Lewis Boulevard.

It’s such a woeful irony that although Parks personnel’s intentions are sound, in this case, they truly run afoul of aging residents’ need to step out and step up in advancing their well-being by visiting their podiatrist and other medical specialists.

Truly one would think that even if this now-planted tree bed is precisely within Parks guidelines, a reasonable accommodation ought be considered that would bring into alignment the enjoyment of an emerging tree with a need for access to medical care. Surely these are not adversarial goals but rather sympatico ends that will resoundingly enhance all passers-by’ well-being if the nascent tree is more thoughtfully positioned.

The safety and security of all neighborhood residents and visitors warrant a rerooting of this tree bed to another sidewalk on Francis Lewis Boulevard. As William Blake once opined: “The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.” Surely a tree can flourish elsewhere on Francis Lewis Boulevard and redound to the benefit of all.

F.E. Scanlon


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