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Forest Hills Environmental Group to Beautify Yellowstone Boulevard Underpass

Forest Hills Green Team Member Planting at Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School

May 2, 2019 By Meghan Sackman

A local environmental advocacy group will be cleaning up and putting down a new garden under the Long Island Rail Road overpass on Yellowstone Boulevard later this month.

The group, called the Forest Hills Green Team, was formed about 18 months ago and will be weeding, planting and cleaning the space under the LIRR overpass between Austin and Burns Streets on May 19 from 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

This project is funded by the Love Your Block Grant, an initiative of NYC Service in partnership with Citizens Committee for New York City that helps communities beautify their neighborhoods.

The team received $1,000 toward its beautification plans, which Mark Laster, the co-director of the group, says will help fund the gardening tools, cleaning supplies, flowers and other greenery to be placed around the area.

Laster said he has yet to select the plants but will be consulting with an expert to make sure they can survive the New York climate.

“The area right now is kind of bare. It’s going to make the area a lot nicer for people to walk through,” Laster said.

NYC Parks Department will provide mulch for the project.

Laster said that this project is part of a wider effort to improve the environment, one that New York’s legislators are getting behind.

“I think, in light of everything that’s happening currently regarding the environment; with Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s Green New Deal on the national level and with Mayor De Blasio’s new environmental policies…this project brings those concepts together on a local level,” Laster said.

Laster’s group has been involved in beautification projects in the past.

The group organized a cleanup in the same area last July, which coincided with the installation of a mural under the LIRR overpass that features four separate geometric grids.

The group also participated in an additional gardening project last year when it put down plants at the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School’s (MELS) Garden, on Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills.

The Forest Hills Green Team will be having a meeting at the Forest Hills Library, located at 108-19 71 Ave, on Monday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss plans for its May 19 project.

For more information or to sign up to volunteer, email Co-Directors Mark Laster and Dan Miner at [email protected] or [email protected].

Forest Hills Green Team Receiving Love Your Block Grant (Photo: Judith Berman)

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
Frank G. Krasevec

Marty will have to take pictures when it’s finished. A good improvement to a baron area.


We need to put efforts on pressure to the police to remove the homeless people on Continental and Quens Blvd. It nice to have flowers but when I need to continuous cross sideways because I’m scared to walk pass people,,,ie you all know next to the bagel store and in front of the diner and 7-11. Sometimes in front od Boston Market or LIRR stairs. Is there a detox center in the neighborhood ? The cops don’t want to be bothered!

Sara Ross

That’s wonderful that they’re doing that! I hope the city, the way it always does, lets land turn into a garbage dump and then when good people volunteer their time to fix them up, THEN the city wants it back! I wish they could beautify the areas around Jewel Avenue where those ugly houses are.


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