Tree Eastie, an organization that has been trying to rekindle the neighborhood’s grassroots effort to get more trees planted in the neighborhood, is collaborating with three other neighborhood groups to provide free trees to Eastie residents.
Tree Eastie, NOAH (Neighborhood of Affordable Housing), Eastie Farm and Mothers Out Front (MOF) will be giving away 75 free trees to East Boston residents later this month.
“The link between trees and good health is indisputable,” said Tree Eastie’s Bill Masterson. “Decades of research suggest that exposure to nature and green spaces can help to reduce stress, promote restoration, and generally improve mental health — and you don’t need to walk through a forest to experience these benefits. Urban trees, right here in East Boston, can be a source of health benefits, improved air quality and decreased noise pollution, not to mention reduced energy costs.”
Masterson said Eastie residents wanting to take advantage of these benefits in their own front or back yards now have a great opportunity with an upcoming tree giveaway.
“If you lost a tree in the recent storm, need some stress relief from this crazy year, or just want to see a little green outside your window, you can request a tree online at tinyurl.com/eastietreegiveaway,” said Masterson. “Three species are available — Red Oak, Yoshino Cherry and Eastern RedBud, all of which come in 5-gallon buckets and are four to six feet tall. They are ready to plant and instructions will be provided.”
Masterson said pick up will be on Saturday, October 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at a location to be provided when you register.
“This will be a drive-through event, following COVID-19 safety protocols, and volunteers will be available to help with any questions,” said Masterson. “Those who want a tree but don’t have the means to transport it back to their home can request assistance when making their tree request and volunteers will do their best to arrange for delivery.”
For the past year, Tree Eastie has been teaming up with NOAH’s youth group and, more recently, Eastie Farm and MOF to document open tree pits, to care for street trees, and to get new trees planted in the neighborhood.
The collaboration has been part of a years-long effort to increase Eastie’s tree canopy and improve the health and beauty of the neighborhood.
Last year Tree Eastie and NOAH received a grant of $10,000 to plant more trees in Eastie. The project is an effort to bring awareness to Eastie’s lack of street trees with the goal of doubling the neighborhood’s tree canopy coverage. Over 70 trees were planted last year and another 40 trees are slated to be planted this year.
Studies show that ideally for a good urban tree canopy there is a tree every 20 to 25 feet.
The NOAH youth found there were 1,924 trees in Eastie and over 300,000 linear feet of sidewalk space. On average there is a tree every 167 feet. If a tree was planted every 25 feet Eastie could have over 12,500 trees.