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State To Pay To Plant Thousands Of Trees In Poor Springfield Neighborhoods


The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has awarded the city of Springfield $1.5 million to plant 2,500 trees. 

The trees will be planted over the next three years on both private and public property in three inner-city neighborhoods. 

Alex Sherman of the city’s Forestry Division said the neighborhoods chosen for the program have just 13 percent of the ground area covered by a tree canopy.

"The U.S. Forest Service uses 40 percent as ideal for an urban area, so obviously we are below that and we want to boost those numbers," said Sherman.

The state’s “Greening the Gateway Cities” tree planting program began several years ago after an insect infestation killed hundreds of trees in Worcester. 

More than 8,000 trees have been planted in 13 cities.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.