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Tree-planting pilot program aims to make East Providence a little greener

Environment

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ A new tree-planting pilot program will soon take root in East Providence.

Mayor Bob DaSilva tells 12 News they are partnering with the R.I. Tree Council to restock the city’s “urban forest.”

“There’s been a lot of talk about the value and importance of trees in an urban setting,” DaSilva said.

DaSilva said trees provide a number of benefits, including increasing the property value of homes, providing food for wildlife, enhancing curb appeal and offering additional shade to residences.

“Depending on the kind of trees and where you plant them, it can decrease your heating bills — it acts as a wind break,” DaSilva explained.

Through the program, he said East Providence property owners can spruce up their yards free of charge.

“We hope residents are just as eager about lining our city’s streets and neighborhoods with a variety of trees as we are,” DaSilva said.

The East Providence City Council recently approved $25,000 to fund the program, which will at first be limited to Bullock Point Avenue. DaSilva said the program may be extended to the rest of the city depending on whether it is successful.

DaSilva said there are seven varieties of trees that participating residents can choose from.

Smaller trees, which can grow to 25 feet, include Flowering Crabapple, Thornless Hawthorn, Golden Rain and Japanese Tree Lilac. Property owners can also choose from a few medium-sized trees such as Red Maples, Ginkgo and Zelkova.

DaSilva said while cities and towns typically plant trees alongside roadways and on sidewalks, this program is a little different.

“The thought process is, if we get people to authorize planting on their property, they’ll take care of it, they’ll water it. It’ll be less susceptible to road salt,” DaSilva said.

Before the trees are planted, crews will scope out the property to make sure the tree’s roots won’t interfere with sewer and water lines.

“We’re hoping in the fall that we’ll be able to start planting some trees,” DaSilva said.

Anyone who lives along Bullock Point Avenue that would like to participate in the pilot program can sign up online through the city’s Tree Planting Registry.

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