A crew of Berkshire Bank employees and neighborhood residents spent Tuesday afternoon planting trees and plants in Adams Park, in an effort to beautify Mason Square and strengthen the park’s ecosystem. The planting, funded by a generous donation from Berkshire Bank, was cheered by Mayor Domenic Sarno in a press conference.
“I am just so thankful. The beautification of the park is important for both young and old in this neighborhood,” Sarno said. Sarno described the project as part of the city’s efforts re-green a city which lost thousands of trees during the June 1, 2011 tornado. The city, with the help of the organization ReGreen Springfield, has replanted 4,500 trees since the storm, Sarno said.
Members of ReGreen Springfield, community members and Berkshire Bank employees who were given the day off for a day of community service, donned green tee-shirts and reflective vests to plant shade trees and native shrubs. In addition to beautifying the park, the planting is designed to attract birds and pollinators with the goal of sustaining plant growth in the neighborhood, the city said in a press release.
“These plantings will provide our neighborhood residents to see the value and importance of using native plants and organic alternatives in the care of our greenspace,” Director of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Patrick Sullivan said in a statement. “The new plantings will make a great difference in the environmental and aesthetic quality of the park.”
ReGreen Springfield President David Bloniarz — who Sarno repeatedly referred to as the city’s Johnny Appleseed — credited volunteers for their work in beautifying Mason Square over the past several years. “I can’t thank the folks from Berkshire Bank enough. This is your third year working up here within a quarter of a mile,” Bloniarz said.” Making a difference in the neighborhood .Making a difference in the quality of life.”