Volunteers plant trees along Pierce St.
Sandra Boston and Glen Ayers plant a tree on Pierce Street in Greenfield.
Louise Amyot, Marion Griswold, and Mary Praus plant a tree on Pierce Street in Greenfield.
GREENFIELD — The stretch of Pierce Street that connects Davis to Chapman streets has a new look, and in a few years it will have a little more shade than it has had in a while.
Nine volunteers met there Friday morning to plant 16 red and sugar maples, Princeton American elms, crabapples and hop hornbeans.
Greenfield Tree Committee member Mary Praus, who is a land use planner with Franklin Regional Council of Govern-ments, said the committee raises money each year to plant trees throughout town.
FRCOG completed a downtown tree inventory last year, which Praus said the committee is using as a guide as it raises more money to buy and plant more trees.
“We’re targeting the streets in town that have few or no trees and low-income areas,” she said. “The inventory looked downtown from Main to Silver streets and High to Elm streets.”
The stretch of Pierce Street had two trees before planting began on Friday, she said.
“Pierce Street was chosen because it is one of the streets that stood out on the Greenfield Tree Inventory as being especially devoid of trees,” she said.
The committee planted smaller trees on the north side of the street, because there are power lines that cannot be obstructed, said Praus.
She said the elms and maples were planted on the south side of the street.
Praus said in past years, the committee has raised money, bought trees, and given them to the town to plant. This year, she said, the committee is piloting a volunteer-based planting to save the town money. She said the committee works with the town’s public works department and tree warden before beginning any project.
Praus said in the areas of lower income, the hope is to plant enough shade trees to eventually reduce summer cooling costs for residents.
She said as the committee raises more money, it will prioritize which areas need to be done sooner.
“The town just doesn’t have the funds for trees,” she said. “Trees are discretionary items when a budget is tight. We understand that.”
Praus said while some people may see the planting of trees in town-owned tree belts as an annoyance, because they’ll have to rake leaves and mow around them, others will see the benefits.
“Some people have lost touch with the benefits, like trees mitigating the impacts of climate change, but trees even make you feel better emotionally and make for happier neighborhoods,” said Praus. “They also make for a more pleasant walking and biking environment.”
Praus said the committee purchased the trees from Hadley Garden Center, which gave a discount.