Mayor James J. Fiorentini, Urban Kindness neighborhood group leader Keith Boucher and tree crew plant the first of hundreds of trees for the Mount Washington neighborhood. (Courtesy photograph.)
Mayor James J. Fiorentini Friday helped plant the first of what may be 600 to 800 trees a year for the next three years for the Mount Washington neighborhood.
Fiorentini planted the first tree of the state program at 513 Washington St., home of former Mayor Albert Bartlett a century ago. The mayor was joined by Department of Conservation and Recreation Forester Nathan Tobey and his crew, along with Urban Kindness neighborhood group leader Keith Boucher.
“This is an awesome grant that will beautify and improve our urban neighborhoods,” Fiorentini said. “Residents have the opportunity to get free trees planted for them on their own properties. Hopefully we can reverse decades of tree loss in the city though this program,” he added.
Besides the trees, the neighborhood has been the focus of revitalization efforts, including a nearly half million-dollar Working Cities Challenge grant from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
The program’s goals are to provide energy savings; street tree canopies; reduced heat island effects; and increased shade, oxygen and property values. Neighborhood property owners may receive trees professionally planted free at the front, back or side yards of their properties. The city is also planting 160 additional street trees around the city through this program and another 200 through its own budget. Residents interested in receiving free trees planted around their homes should contact the City by calling 311.
The tree planting, as WHAV first reported in January, is part of the state’s “Greening the Gateway Cities” program.