Tag Archives: Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation

Wonderful Woodhaven Street Fair comes to Jamaica Avenue in October

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Fine food, music and entertainment will be part of the fun found at this year’s Wonderful Woodhaven Street Festival along Jamaica Avenue on Sunday, Oct. 18.

Sponsored by the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation (GWDC), the festivities will take place from noon to 6 p.m. under the elevated J/Z line on Jamaica Avenue between 80th Street and Woodhaven Boulevard.

According to GWDC Executive Director Maria Thomson, the family-friendly gathering will include pony rides and games for children, an assortment of street food vendors and a marketplace filled with a variety of other vendors.

The festival’s musical menu is just as enticing, with performers including the Mary Lamont country western band and the Malaysian Lion Dancers.

Residents of Woodhaven and nearby communities can reach the festival by taking the J/Z line to the 85th Street-Forest Parkway or Woodhaven Boulevard stations. The Q56 bus line, which operates along Jamaica Avenue, will be rerouted while the festival is underway.

For more information, call the GWDC at 718-805-0202.


Woodhaven residents not happy with holiday tree replacement

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Josephine Wendell

A tree grows in Woodhaven — but residents say it’s the wrong one.

They are barking mad that the Parks Department replaced the nearly 30-year-old Woodhaven holiday tree, which was downed by Sandy, with a deciduous “street tree.”

“That tree meant a lot to the residents of Woodhaven,” said Alex Blenkinsopp, communications director for the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association (WRBA). “We had expected that a suitable replacement would be planted in place of our lost holiday tree.”

The former tree on Forest Parkway near Jamaica Avenue was more than three stories tall and was used for the community’s annual tree lighting ceremony for 27 years.

The Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation (GWDC) bought and planted it when it was only about seven feet tall. Before the tree was planted, residents had used an artificial tree for the lighting ceremony.

The new one is approximately 15 feet tall with a trunk diameter of about four inches, but is expected to grow.
Neighbors believe the new tree will not be a suitable replacement because deciduous trees lose their leaves, meaning they will not be able to decorate it and it will not be distinct from other trees on the block.

The WRBA started a Facebook page dedicated to finding a suitable replacement, called “Restore Woodhaven’s Holiday Tree,” on July 7. Since then, the page has gained more than 200 likes.

Steve and Janet Forte, members of the WRBA, volunteered to donate a nine-foot pine in their yard that they obtained more than a decade ago from the Arbor Day Foundation. The couple wants to give it away because it will eventually outgrow their yard and they want to help keep the tradition rooted in Woodhaven for generations to come.

“It’s a traditional thing and when you go away from tradition you lose a piece of the neighborhood. It’s like losing a part of the family,” Forte said, adding that the tree is “sort of an icon in Woodhaven.”

Parks is aware of the problem with the replacement and will work to fix it, officials said.

“We planned to plant a Christmas tree there with the Parks Department and we planned a ceremony for it,” said Maria Thomson, executive director of the GWDC. “I called them [Parks] and they said, ‘Oh, we made a mistake.’”

A new evergreen tree will be planted in the area during the fall planting season, according to the Parks Department. As for the current tree, it will be transplanted somewhere close by.

“It seems like a brand new young tree,” said Blenkinsopp. “We would love to see it grow, but somewhere else.”

The Woodhaven holiday tree before and after Sandy. 



Celebrating ‘Wonderful Woodhaven’

| photographers@queenscourier.com


The Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation’s Annual “Wonderful

Woodhaven Street Festival” was held on Sunday, October 16 on Woodhaven’s Jamaica Avenue. There were pony rides, games, food, entertainment and a variety of vendors with unique products.