SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield’s Greening the Gateway Cities Program expanded to a new neighborhood Friday, planting dozens of trees with the help of volunteers in East Springfield.

The people of East Springfield were thrilled to be getting the attention of this program which will plant 50 new trees in Greenways between Friday and Saturday. The hoard of volunteers included employees from East Springfield companies Eastman Chemical and Duc Pac, plus crews from the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department Workforce Imitative and local residents. All of them carefully coordinated by the city’s forestry team.

City of Springfield Forester Alex Sherman told 22News, “These projects are great because we start with an empty canvas and you get a bunch of people in here with their efforts and by the end of the day, you can see the change. It’s instant.”

“Trees generate important environmental benefits and ecosystem services like shade, they sequester carbon,” said Rick Harper, a UMass Environmental Conservation Professor of ReGreen Springfield.

This program is currently active in a number of neighborhoods. If you live in McKnight, Old Hill, Upper Hill or the East Springfield neighborhoods, you can get a free tree delivered and planted in your yard at any time! Just call the city’s 311 and they will send an arborist to inspect your property for the best tree fit.

“It means a lot. I think a lot of times East Springfield gets forgotten. We are more industrial than homes, so we do get forgotten. But today has been really nice. We are really happy with all the support we have gotten,” said Marie Koski of Springfield.

If you want to help beautify East Springfield, there’s another planting session scheduled for Saturday morning. Organizers ask volunteers to rendezvous at the Marshall Roy Park off of El Paso Street.

Local News

Duncan MacLean is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2019. Follow Duncan on X @DMacLeanWWLP and view his bio to see more of his work.