WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – After his visit to The Big E, Governor Charlie Baker went to Westfield to celebrate an important environmental milestone.
It’s Climate Week in Massachusetts and on Thursday, Gov. Baker took part in the 30,000th tree planting in Westfield, a city that received $20,000 for tree planting, as part of the state’s Greening the Gateway Cities Campaign.
The governor along with state and city leaders came together at General Shepherd Park, in the center of Westfield. After they took turns delivering remarks, Baker grabbed a shovel and got to work, preparing the ground for a new dawn, redwood. The new trees are being funded by the Greening the Gateway Cities Program, designed to reduce household heating and cooling energy use, by increasing tree canopy cover in older cities in the state.
“We will find ways to fund as many trees in our communities as they can plant as long as they commit to ensuring these trees grow up to be, big trees,” said Gov. Baker.
Kathleen Theoharides, secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs added, “We’ve been talking about the opportunity to reduce our carbon emissions and build resiliency across the state and build better communities and I think this program really highlights that.”
Other benefits of having more trees around include improving water and air quality, stormwater runoff, and of course increased shade. Trees can also give you a 30 percent reduction in home energy use.
Westfield was one of four new communities added to the program, which also includes Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, and Pittsfield.