Neighbors organize to paint and plant around Queens Boulevard


REGO PARK, Queens — Flowers and old fire boxes are bringing a new look to neighborhoods around Queens Boulevard.

A group of volunteers organized activities this summer to remove graffiti, care for storefronts and spruce up residential building entrances.

Michael Perlman created the Rego-Forest Preservation Council and has organized events for more than a decade around his community. 

John Colgan is pitching in by painting some of the 16,000 old call boxes in the city; a century ago, they’re how the FDNY received reports of fire in an area.

Many no longer work but they’re part of the emergency communication system. Colgan says his mom suggested a new paint job a decade ago for one they walked by in Woodside.

The rest is history.

He says he will be scouting other locations for fire call boxes in need of attention.

More volunteer activities are also planned.

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