Chelsea, Fall River and Holyoke residents and business owners can order free trees to be planted on their properties.
The program was created with a goal to increase the number of trees planted in urban residential areas of the Massachusetts Gateway Cities. Through the GGCP program, trees (ranging from 6ft to 10ft tall) are planted with a goal of covering 5% of target neighborhoods in new tree canopy cover. The trees are planted by foresters from the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) Urban & Community Forestry Program, with crews hired from local communities.
To see the list of other cities currently participating, please visit Greening the Gateway Cities Program.
What’s green, leafy and saves you $413 on your home energy costs?*
This program is also designed to reduce household heating and cooling energy use by increasing tree canopy cover in urban residential areas, while improving the aesthetic appearance of these neighborhoods.
To be eligible for this program’s benefits, residents and property owners must agree to a two-year watering commitment, to ensure the trees’ survival. Easy care instructions are provided by the DCR to tree recipients addressing watering, mulching and pruning. When a potential tree recipient signs up, a DCR forester will visit their home to determine the best location and species of tree for energy efficiency. Foresters also conduct year-round site visits and are available to answer questions.
* The savings stated are estimates. Actual savings may vary based on species of tree, orientation and building structure. Energy savings are estimated using the US Forest Service’s “iTree Design” software. The figure is an average estimate of energy savings generated by an individual tree in a community in Holyoke over a 30 year period.
Trees filter the air by removing dust and absorbing air pollutants.
The net cooling effect of a healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room size airconditioners operating 20 hours a day.
Trees and landscaping can raise property values up to 20%
Tree-lined streets reduce noise pollution by absorbing sounds and slowing down traffic.
Many birds and animals use trees for food and shelter
Trees beautify neighborhoods and reduce crime, improving the quality of life.
"It is simply improving the conditions of the neighborhood and increasing tree canopy."
"I see a lot of the younger generation going into the park which wasn’t happening before. And I see the ones with their little kids now going into the park, and that’s a great thing. I did that with my kid, you know what I’m sayin’?"
"It makes a nice living space for people, it provides shade, and improves the quality of the air."
"I think it's healthier having the greenery and the trees."
"I mean, if you were to go out and buy trees, imagine how much that would cost. I think it's wonderful that it is a free program for the people that are interested."
“I joined the program because it increases energy efficiency at home and the overall air quality of the community.”
"I thought that my property was pretty barren and I just-I miss trees, I’m used to having trees, so I was more than thrilled, I was very happy."
"Well, I always liked trees, I think that they are good for the environment. Also, for privacy purpose that's more or less it. I always liked trees and it beautifies the property. I figured it was an opportunity to get it."
"So hopefully when the trees goes up and kind of creates a shade, I mean it lowers my bill, so. That's my goal, as much as I want to enjoy the beauty of it"
"We are invested in the community and invested in creating opportunities making it a good place to live in for people to make sure that they have their needs met."