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.
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]