Upper East Side Community groups joined Council Member Ben Kallos today to cheer the arrival of over 100 new tree guards on the Upper East Side. The guards, are located primarily on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Avenues, as well as busy side streets near the 4,5,6 and new Q train stations. Additional guards have also been added to the islands protecting the bike lanes along 2nd Avenue.
Council Member Kallos allocated $175,000 of discretionary funding to the project and chose sites with the consultation of the East 86th Street Association (disclaimer: I'm a Board Member), the East 72nd Street Association, the East 79th Street Neighborhood Association, the East 60's Neighborhood Association, and Upper Greenside. Keeping this number of activists happy may seem like a challenge, but there was nothing but cheer at today's event, and, of course, requests for even more. "These tree guards, while providing essential protection for trees and plants in the bike path islands, add an attractive finishing touch to these tiny oases throughout the East 60's and 70's" said Barry Schneider, President of the East 60's Association via a Kallos office press release. From my perspective, having advocated for these guards for the past couple of years, the guards are attractive, essential, and improve our quality of life on the Upper East Side. While hundreds more are needed, if the satisfaction of local residents and activists today is any indication, the program seems likely to be continued and expanded.