Nov. 20, 2013 By Christian Murray
The Parks Department planted 10 new trees at Andrews Grove/Shady Park today, as the restoration of the popular park is virtually complete.
Shady Park, a popular playground on 49th Ave (btwn Vernon Blvd. and 5th Street), was battered during last year’s storm when eight 50 foot trees were uprooted, destroying the lush canopy.
Since the storm, community leaders and elected officials have sought tall trees to replace them. Today, their wish was partly granted, when 15 to 20 foot tall trees were planted.
“The trees are 5 feet taller than the normal trees we plant,” said a spokesman for the Parks Department. “They are also 3 or more years older,” he added.
Van Bramer said that after last year’s storm, Jet Blue and Warner Brothers donated $5,000 each to the community to help with the recovery. He said the funds were allocated toward purchasing the taller trees, which were more costly than the standard trees planted by the Parks Department.
A local group, called Friends of Shady Park, worked with officials to select the mature trees. That group—led by Sheila Lewandowski and Caroline Paul —has been devoted to restoring the park to its former glory. It has overseen the repair of the playground and concrete—and pushed hard to have the canopy restored.
“These 10 mature trees will restore the shade as quickly as possible,” Van Bramer said.
Meanwhile, State Senator Mike Gianaris said Shady Park is going to get its name back. For too long, “It’s been known as Sandy Park.”