GREENFIELD — When John Bottomley moved to town several years ago, he bought a home on Haywood Street because it was a beautiful tree-lined neighborhood.
But over time, the trees began to disappear as they aged or were damaged by a storm and had to be taken down. Last year, Bottomley decided to do something about this trend and spoke with the Greenfield Tree Committee, of which he is a member, to see if the group would be interested in partnering with him to plant new trees on his street.
The committee said “yes.”
On Saturday, his vision will become a reality, and everyone is invited to help. Volunteers will plant 25 trees on Haywood Street between High and Federal streets from 9 a.m. to noon.
“I’m really excited about this project,” Bottomley said in a news release. “I’ve been talking with my neighbors for over a year. Many of them share my love of trees, and want a tree planted in front of their home in the tree belt or on their front yard. Many have also made a donation, which the Greenfield Tree Committee has more than matched, making this planting possible.”
Mary Chicoine, Greenfield Tree Committee member, said the project is perfect for the group, which looks for a planting project every year in addition to making tree planting recommendations to the town’s Department of Public Works. She added that the group hopes the Haywood Street project will become a model and inspiration for other neighborhoods.
The DPW is also supporting the project by securing the necessary permits, and will deliver several red maple trees that have been growing in the Wells Street nursery.
Chicoine, who is also a land use and natural resources planner at the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, has secured money over the past few years that has allowed the FRCOG to provide technical assistance to the Greenfield Tree Committee. Last year, a state Urban and Community Forestry Environmental Justice Challenge grant allowed the group to conduct a public outreach and education campaign about trees, and to plan more than 30 trees on Hope Street and in Oak Courts.
On Saturday, the Greenfield Tree Committee will give a mini-demonstration at 9 a.m. on how to plant a tree so that it will thrive before launching into the planting project. The group will have some tools on hand, but encourages attendees to bring work gloves and their own shovels if they have them, and to wear sturdy boots or shoes. Refreshments will be provided from neighborhood residents.
Severe weather will postpone the event to May 27. In the case of severe weather, check greenfieldtreecommittee.org. To sign up to volunteer, call Bottomley at 513-604-2691 or just show up on Saturday.