Free trees available through Greening the Gateway Cities Program
Free trees are available to residents in a section of the downtown and West Lynn area through the Greening the Gateway Cities Program (GGCP), which is funded by the state office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and administered by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
The program targets the Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities, including Lynn, by providing free trees to residents and other partners. The environmental and energy-efficiency initiative is designed to reduce household energy use by planting trees ranging from 6- to 10-feet tall with the goal of adding 5-10 new trees per acre in targeted neighborhoods. Additionally, local crews are hired from the community to assist the DCR in tree plantings.
“We are very excited to be part of the Greening the Gateway Cities Program,” said Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy. “To be able to save energy while beautifying neighborhoods in the city is a win-win. We’re grateful to be chosen to participate.”
About 200 trees have been planted thus far in the designated area, which includes Washington Street from the Lynnway to Western Avenue; Boston Street from Western Avenue to Summer Street; Summer Street from Boston to Western Avenue; Minot Street from Western to Bennett Street; Bennett Street to Commercial Street; and the Lynnway from Commercial to Washington.
The GGCP is based on studies that have shown that the additional tree canopy provides the greatest benefit when established over an entire neighborhood area, by lowering wind speeds and reducing summer-time air temperature, in addition to the benefit of direct shading. It is estimated that every one percent increase in tree canopy above a minimum 10-percent canopy cover results in a 1.9 percent reduction in energy needs for cooling and up to a 1.1 percent reduction for heating. All households in the neighborhood benefit, not just the ones with trees directly adjacent.
“By planting 2,400 trees in the City of Lynn through the Greening the Gateway Cities Program, the community’s residents will truly benefit due to the trees’ ability to lower energy costs, clean air, reduce noise pollution, and beautify neighborhoods,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton.
Those living in the targeted area can request trees through the DCR by calling 617-626-1502. A DCR forester will confirm eligibility for the program and schedule a visit the property to determine the best location for the trees. Prior to the planting of trees, residents and other partners must agree to a two-year watering program to ensure the trees’ survival.
“This is obviously a well-researched, well-designed program,” Kennedy said. “We are pleased that our residents and neighborhoods have the opportunity to benefit from this partnership with the state.”