Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Holyoke Opens Municipal Tree Nursery



The city will make its first planting in its own tree nursery this Wednesday (10/15/15) with the first of many plantings to come.

This summer, the City received a $100,000 state grant to have a reliable supply of trees for the foreseeable future.

"With this grant, we will have more control over what we plant throughout the city and we will be able to provide residents with a low-cost, diverse array of street and setback plantings," Conservation Director Andrew Smith said.

The site for the tree nursery was placed on city land on Berkshire Street due to the fact that this location provides access to electrical power and irrigation, is secure and does not require an extensive amount of site work for completion.

An automatic irrigation system was installed and the nursery will be maintained by the Conservation, Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments, along with volunteers, he said.

The Massachusetts Gateway Cities Program provided funding. Mayor Alex B. Morse was a major advocate for completing the project and Councilor Todd McGee introduced the order to City Council to accept the grant as a late-filed order.

Trees planted in the nursery will be available in 3-5 years for residents throughout the entire City, as opposed the Greening the Gateway Cities planting program, which has established a reforestation zone that broadly encompasses properties between Beech Street, Northampton Street, Canal Street and Springdale.

Holyoke’s municipal nursery will fit into the City’s overall efforts to restore its urban canopy after decades of decline.

“When we started this project,” Mayor Morse said, “we estimated we would need to plant 560 trees a year for ten years to make a lasting impact on the canopy. Now, since 2014, we’ve planted roughly 1,000 trees through the Greening the Gateway Cities program, with more to come and a steady supply awaiting us in a few years. This is another example of positive steps we are making to enhance the quality of life for Holyokers.”

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