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Cooperation from city agencies needed by Queens green group

It is with sadness and discouragement that I write this letter. The volunteer work of a handful of community−minded gardeners, the 46th Avenue Beautification Committee, is not respected and being destroyed by the city Sanitation Department’s snow removal crew — specifically the salt trucks.

For the past 36 years, the committee has taken care of the center malls on 46th Avenue between 192nd and 195th streets in Auburndale. Besides purchasing the shrubs and plants, the committee has planted and maintained the malls under a city permit for the city Parks Department for everyone to enjoy. The project has received several awards and grants in the past, including a Molly Parnis Dress Up Your Neighborhood Grand Prize in 1973.

But for the past four winters, the four malls have been bombarded with so much salt and chemical mixture that 28 of the shrubs and some perennials have died so far this year. The salt trucks disperse the salt mixture on a wide spread, covering the malls repeatedly and causing the shrubs and plants to die.

Two years ago, 28 shrubs died and the committee replaced them by digging up the dead shrubs and perennials and purchasing and planting new ones. Due to the yearly damage inflicted by the Sanitation Department, our work has become futile. The malls are becoming unsightly and our funds are almost depleted.

Our committee needs help from the Parks Department to revitalize the malls and the Sanitation Department to solve this ongoing problem.

Mary Donahue


46th Avenue Beautification Committee


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