For a couple of years now Tree Eastie, with the help of Speak for the Trees, has been trying to rekindle the neighborhood’s grassroots effort to get more trees planted in East Boston.
Last week, in honor of Earth Day and upcoming Arbor Day, volunteers from the neighborhood spent the day digging tree pit holes around the neighborhood with a focus on Maverick Square, Day Square and Central Square.
Tree Eastie’s Bill Masterson has been on a crusade to get the neighborhood’s tree canopy closer to the average tree canopy in other Boston neighborhoods.
During the Earth Day and Arbor Day events, volunteers were paired in groups of two or three to dig 3’x3’x3’ holes in existing tree pits.
The digging of these holes, said Masterson, is the first step in planting the 100 street trees Tree Eastie hopes to accomplish this spring.
After digging the holes, volunteers placed signs indicating the hole was the future site of a new Eastie street tree.
Masterson said Tree Eastie decided to focus on the highest urban heat island locations.
Tree Eastie will also focus its efforts on Maverick and Central Square and then Jeffries Point through a large grant from Delta Airlines. Masterson said that money will be used to plant 40 new street trees across these areas.
Tree Eastie has also identified spots in Orient Heights, as well as Harbor View, that need street trees and the group will be planting 30 new street trees in those two neighborhoods.
Tree Eastie also plans to plant more fruit trees at the Rockies in Jeffries Point across from Piers Park through a new relationship with Eastie Farm. Eastie Farm will be able to take the harvest from those trees, which include apple trees, peach trees, pear trees, cherry trees and mulberry, and put those fruits back into the community. This program will distribute the food to folks that need it as well as putting it into the Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that Eastie Farm has established.
There’s a lot of benefits trees have, unfortunately Eastie suffers from the lowest tree canopy in the city. The neighborhood’s tree canopy is at 7% while the city average is 27%.
Tree Eastie recently forged some alliances and some benefactors who are asking the group to help them site tree plantings.