State Grants Helps City With Tree Plantings

The city’s efforts to boost its tree canopy were helped by a recent $30,000 state grant.

Last week, the Healey-Driscoll administration announced $1.3 million in grants to support tree plantings in gateway cities across the state in an effort to increase resilience and mitigate the harm of the climate crisis.

Chelsea received $30,000 to purchase and install two catch basin tree pits to intercept storm water runoff and support tree growth.

The money will help support ongoing tree planting efforts in Chelsea, according to Alex Train, the city’s director of Housing and Community Development.

“The city secured this $30,000 grant through the urban forestry grant in order to install new street trees and stormwater tree pits in some of the city’s hottest neighborhoods,” said Train. “Presently, the city is targeting the Addison and Orange neighborhood, including large-scale planting on Addison and Eden streets, as well as the Shurtleff-Bellingham neighborhood, with large efforts underway on Shawmut, Chester, and surrounding neighborhoods.”

Train said those are two of the hottest neighborhoods in the city according to the heat mapping that the city, in partnership with GreenRoots and the BU School of Public Health, has undertaken.

“This $30,000 will be utilized to purchase additional stormwater tree pits,” said Train. “The benefit of stormwater tree pits includes improvements to water quality, as well as mitigation of heat. The tree pits are designed so they will absorb rainfall and stormwater, so instead of all that rainfall going into our storm drain system untreated, there’s oil and different pollutants in it, the storm water treatment pits capture that runoff, they filter it … before the water is routed into the drain or the groundwater.”

Train said the city is also working to secure additional grants that will help it improve the tree canopy and decrease the harmful effects of heat islands throughout Chelsea.

“Recently, I got my hands dirty in Malden planting trees. I saw firsthand the tremendous benefits the Greening the Gateway Cities Program has on communities,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Our administration is proud to announce we’re investing in our future by creating more tree canopy in Gateway Cities across Massachusetts to ensure we are providing healthy and livable communities for generations to come.” 

Planting more trees in our Gateway Cities helps shield environmental justice communities from the extreme heat driven by the climate crisis, said DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo.

“Last year the Greening the Gateway Cities Program reached a milestone of 35,000 trees planted across the Commonwealth and we are excited to work with our partners to create more urban tree canopies and green spaces in our communities that need them the most,” said Arrigo.

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