For a couple of years now Tree Eastie, with the assistance of Speak for the Trees, has been rekindling the neighborhood’s grassroots effort to get more trees planted in East Boston.
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 and has been pretty busy this spring planting trees thanks to recent grant money.
While Tree Eastie has been approved to plant 100 street trees this spring the group recently got approval from the City of Boston to plant an additional nine trees in the neighborhood.
“Tree Eastie has received approval from the City of Boston to plant nine more street trees,” said Masterson. “The planting season is quickly coming to an end so we need to get these in the ground soon. To make it more convenient and take advantage of the later sunsets, the plan is to dig holes during early weekday evenings with a targeted planting date of Friday, June 3.”
Volunteers that would like to help in the efforts to plant these additional nine trees can visit https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSegLB-lpJcFltenQv937t3kiW2VL38Ne9K7gnZVjJwUIpGgFw/viewform and fill out Tree Eastie’s survey which contains additional information on dates and the process as well as other ways to volunteer.
“The time commitment is a couple of hours, no experience necessary and we will provide the training and tools,” said Masterson. “We pair people in groups of two-three to dig 3’x3’x3’ holes in existing street tree pits. You can volunteer individually or as a group and families are welcome. If you participated in our past tree plantings you know this is a fun, feel good, community building, physical workout.”
Those interested in volunteering can also email Masterson at [email protected]
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-percent while the city average is 27-percemt.
Tree Eastie recently forged some alliances and some benefactors who are asking the group to help them site tree plantings.
The first was the Temple Ohabei Shalom Cemetery on Wordsworth Street, which is the oldest Jewish Cemetery in Eastern, Massachusetts.
The Temple recently celebrated its 180th anniversary and 180 is a big number in the Jewish community in terms of significance, so with the help of Tree Eastie and Speak for the Trees planted the first of 18 trees on the Wordsworth side of the Salesian Boys & Girls Club.
This spring Tree Eastie focused on spots in Orient Heights, as well as Harbor View, that need street trees and the group planted 30 new street trees in those two neighborhoods around Earth Day.
Tree Eastie also focused its efforts on Maverick and Central Square as well as 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 also planted 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.