UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Nineteen new trees have been planted along the Second Avenue protected bike lane to beautify a stretch of the Upper East Side, City Councilman Ben Kallos announced.
The trees were planted on pedestrian islands stretching the span of the Second Avenue subway line and will replace trees that were removed during the subway's construction, officials said. The trees were funded by the MTA, the use of the pedestrian islands was approved by the city Department of Transportation and the trees were planted by the Parks Department, officials said.
"Spring has finally sprung and with the new trees and planters can't wait to turn every pedestrian island into a small garden," Kallos said in a statement. "I am glad I was able to collaborate with our city agencies to launch and expand this great program to beautify the neighborhood."
Seventeen tree guards to protect the new trees from neighborhood pets were also installed as an extension of the Adopt-A-Planter program launched by Kallos in 2014 to bring trees to the First Avenue bike lane, officials said.
Neighborhood group Upper Green Side aided residents in beautifying the new planters by offering training and material support, officials said.
"After a zillion years of subway construction torture, no area deserved bike island tree guards more than Second Avenue," Sarah Gallagher, president and founder of the Upper Green Side, said in a statement.