Approximately 40 Regreen Springfield volunteers gathered on April 22nd, on Albemarle Street in Upper Hill, armed with shovels and pails to celebrate Earth Day by planting 49 new shade trees. The trees were donated by the Berkshire Bank Foundation and those doing the work included volunteers from Berkshire Bank, the University of Massachusetts, Cathedral and Central High Schools along with city forestry workers.
Edward Casey, the city forester, started the morning by giving instructions to the gathered volunteers on best practices for making sure the trees grow well and stay healthy. The project included three varieties of shade trees that should grow about 50 feet high, he said.
“I think it’s a great thing to be planting trees on Earth Day,” Casey said. “It’s fantastic that we are getting some help with funding from Berkshire Bank and as always ReGreen Springfield steps to the plate and helps us get these streets planted.”
The Upper Hill neighborhood, particularly side streets along Wilbraham Road, has a significant shortage of trees that the city, corporations and volunteers are striving to address, Casey said. Getting 49 trees on one street is a “home run,” Casey said. “It’s a great thing to do,” said Kyle Kazeroid of Chicopee, a Cathedral High School student volunteering with ReGreen Springfield. “We’re just making the city a better place. It’s great to help everyone out.”
David Bloniarz, president of ReGreen Springfield, said the the project was a great opportunity for the group to continue its mission to “re-green the streets one tree at a time. Based on the residents response, we really think we are providing something that provides a great benefit to the quality of life for the neighborhoods of the city,” Bloniarz said.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno praised the project as “another example of the collaborative approach the city embraces as we continue our efforts to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”