Tree Eastie, an organization that has been trying to rekindle the neighborhood’s grassroots effort to get more trees planted in Eastie, has partnered with Eastie Farm to bring rain barrels to residents.
With barrels donated from Eastie based Orleans Packing Co and money granted from New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF), the two organizations have been able to retrofit barrels into fully functioning 60-gallon rain barrels.
“Rain barrels have extraordinary benefits,” said Tree Eastie’s Bill Masterson. “In addition to conserving water and saving money, they prevent pollutants found in storm water runoff from entering our rivers and harbor. Most importantly, coming into the summer months, rain barrels provide a much-needed source of water for your plants, vegetables and trees. In fact new trees require 20 gallons of water per week to ensure they survive the first two years. The barrels are olive green in color to blend nicely into your landscape.”
Masterson said the rain barrels are available immediately for all Eastie residents on a sliding scale of $10-$30 each. Rain barrels this size typically cost over $100.
Funds collected from rain barrel purchase will be used to fund future environmental programs in Eastie, like planting more trees in the community.
“Socially distanced volunteers are available to help you pick the right location and set up your rain barrel, so there is no excuse not to order one,” said Masterson. “The growing season is fully underway with drought conditions already appearing. So now is the time to help your planet and your garden by taking advantage of this terrific offer to install a rain barrel on your property.”
Masterson said if residents have any questions or would like to order a barrel and organize delivery, they can email Eastie Farm at [email protected] or you can order on line at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1EImt7c4Gabr6c0IL2Zp0gdFwOe26nKq0dhxcGUck2aU/viewform?ts=5ede7790&edit_requested=true.
“We accept cash, check, or Venmo,” said Masterson. “If you’d like more than one barrel, fittings will be supplied to allow them to daisy chain together and other installation instructions are available.”
Tree Eastie recently received a grant of $10,000 to plant more trees in Eastie and also partnered with East Boston’s Neighborhood of Affordable Housing’s (NOAH) youth on their tree canopy project.
The project is an effort to bring awareness to Eastie’s lack of street trees with the goal of doubling our tree canopy coverage in Eastie.
Tree Eastie and NOAH have been working in cooperation to document open tree pits, care for street trees, and get new trees planted in the neighborhood.
The NOAH youth define the tree canopy as street trees or trees that line the sidewalks throughout the neighborhood. These youth have been working to gather information and data on the tree canopy and now are starting to plant these new trees throughout Eastie.
NOAH’s Melinda Vega said that nearly 70 trees were planted last year and another 40 trees are slated to be planted this year.
Using Google Earth the NOAH Youth mapped and marked every tree in the neighborhood. They counted the number of trees per street and calculated how many trees could possibly fit on any given street. 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.
An example that the NOAH youth point to is a 4,980 foot stretch of Maverick Street from the Maverick Gate near the airport to Maverick Square where there are only 17 trees, or nine percent of the possible 199 trees that could potentially line the street.
The NOAH youth said trees naturally absorb pollution and could reduce urban noise by 6 to 15 decibels. The NOAH Youth plan to increase tree coverage in Eastie to 30 percent thus doubling the current tree canopy coverage.
More info can be found at www.treeeastie.org.