The Arbor Day Foundation has designated Providence as a “Tree City USA” community for the 26th consecutive year and awarded the Providence Forestry Division with its ‘Growth Award’ in recognition of the division’s environmental improvement, urban forestry management and tree care. In celebration, community members and the City Parks Department partnered today to plant 29 new trees in Bucklin Park. The Arbor Day tree planting and park cleanup was organized by the Providence Parks Department, the Groundwork Providence Trees2020 program, Friends of Bucklin Park and the participating organizations of the Sustainability Roundtable.
“Our parks and open spaces enhance the quality of life in all of our neighborhoods. I am proud that Providence has again been acknowledged as a ‘Tree City USA’ community,” said Mayor Angel Taveras. “As we continue to make the tough choices that will help us survive the immediate fiscal crisis and we position Providence for the future, we must all work to make Providence a more livable and more sustainable city. I applaud Bob McMahon, the Parks Department, Sheila Dormody and all the members of our community for leading the charge to make Providence a greener, healthier city.”
Bucklin Park is located in the West End, a neighborhood in great need of new trees. Based on a Forestry Division study from 2007, the West End has a tree canopy of only 15 percent, compared with the city’s overall 23 percent canopy. The West End was impacted by last year’s microburst thunderstorm. Bucklin Park alone lost seven shade trees. The City has set an ambitious goal to achieve a 30 percent canopy by 2020.
Bob McMahon, Director of the Providence Parks Department, was joined at the tree planting and cleanup by Forestry Division Director Doug Still and officials from the Forestry Division, the City’s Sustainability Director Sheila Dormody, Ilena Williams from Friends of Bucklin Park, as well as representatives from Trees 2020, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Citizen Banks, GTECH Corporation, Hinkley, Allen & Snyder, LLP, Johnson & Wales University, National Grid, Textron, Inc. and the West End Community Center.