SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield officials will be announcing the expansion of the Greening the Gateway Cities Program (GGCP), as well as a supplemental budget appropriation for forestry operations on Tuesday.
According to the City of Springfield, Mayor Domenic Sarno, PBRM Executive Director Patrick Sullivan, City Forester Alex Sherman, City Councilor Attorney Michael Fenton, East Springfield Neighborhood Council, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, and ReGreen Springfield President David Bloniarz will be announcing the expansion of the Greening the Gateway Cities Program (GGCP) into the East Springfield Neighborhood. Mayor Sarno will be announcing a $500,000 supplemental budget appropriation for citywide Forestry operations.
The announcement will be held at Marshall Roy Park on El Paso Street at 10:30 a.m.
GGCP was created to help increase tree coverage in urban areas in Massachusetts. Homeowners, business owners, and renters in the McKnight-Hill neighborhoods can get free trees on their property to help shade parking lots, porches, or buildings.
GGCP, according to Mass.gov, is currently active in:
- Fall River
- New Bedford
The City’s Forestry Division has removed 150 stumps in East Springfield to make space for the new trees. Over 1,500 stumps have been removed citywide since Mayor Sarno began the Stump Grinding Program.
Mayor Sarno states, “PBRM Director Patrick Sullivan and I are excited to announce this significant expansion of the Greening the Gateway Cities Program into our East Springfield Neighborhood. This successful urban greening initiative will include the planting of new street trees and trees for private homes in this beautiful and vibrant community. This successful program, thanks to our partnership with ReGreen Springfield and Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi, will be planting over 200 trees in East Springfield. This is in addition to the over 2,000 trees that were already planted in our Upper Hill, Old Hill, McKnight, and Bay neighborhoods. The expansion into East Springfield will help enhance the neighborhood’s quality of life and is also a key part of continuing to advance my administration’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan.”
“Additionally, I am putting forward a supplemental budget to increase the Forestry Division budget by $500,000 to improve tree maintenance across the city,” said Mayor Sarno. “With Fall upon us and winter coming up, it is important that our dedicated Forestry team has the resources and funding needed. The excessive rains this past year have accelerated the need to increase the removal of dangerous trees from our streets and remove excessive growth to improve site views at intersections across the city. I want to thank our residents for their patience in waiting for crews to respond to their requests. This funding will provide the resources to our Forestry division to perform this work in a timely manner for the residents of Springfield.”
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