(Middle Village, NY September 13, 2009) Juniper Valley Park in Queens has once again fallen victim to mindless vandalism. Twelve young trees were cut down last night in the park in a shocking display of premeditated arborcide. Since the planting of 300 trees in the park that began this past spring, about 30 have either been ripped out, broken or cut down by acts of vandalism.
“This is the worst we’ve seen so far and it’s now obvious that we are dealing with a very disturbed person or persons,” said Robert Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association.
Steven Fiedler, chair of the Parks Services Committee of Community Board 5Q, JPCA board member & park volunteer, reported the latest vandalism to the 104th Precinct. Fiedler estimates that the vandalism occurred sometime between the hours of 11:30 P.M. and 4:00 A.M. Sunday morning (September 13th).
Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski, a Middle Village resident, was at the scene and contacted the Queens District Attorney’s office and Queens Patrol Borough North Command to investigate the crime. Detectives from the 104th Precinct were ringing doorbells of the homes adjacent to the park for witnesses.
Holden said that the reward for the arrest and conviction of any individual involved in the arborcide in now up to $2,500 with the Juniper Park Civic Association offering a $500, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley matching and former Councilman Tom Ognibene donating $1,000 each.
Anyone with information on the vandalism should call 311 or 911, the 104th Precinct 718-386-3004 or 800-577-TIPS (8477) or the Juniper Park Civic Association at 718-651-5865. All calls will be kept confidential.