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Friday, October 14, 2016

Tree Streets planting project takes root

By DAMIEN FISHER
Staff Writer

NASHUA - The city is getting shadier as it kicked off the Trees in the Tree Streets initiative on Wednesday with a ceremonial planting at the Elm Street Middle School.

"People don't understand how valuable these trees are," said Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess. ...

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NASHUA - The city is getting shadier as it kicked off the Trees in the Tree Streets initiative on Wednesday with a ceremonial planting at the Elm Street Middle School.

"People don't understand how valuable these trees are," said Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess.

The city is planting more than 30 trees this fall in the area that ironically needs more trees, the Ward 4 neighborhood with its streets named after different varieties of trees. The effort aims to boost community pride and beautify the neighborhoods, but Donchess said, trees have also been found to increase home values and reduce summer heat.

"We don't have enough trees in the Tree Streets," he said.

The effort will see the city's Parks and Recreation Department plant trees on public and private plots throughout the ward. Nicholas Caggiano, Nashua's Parks and Recreation superintendent and city tree warden, said more trees are a possibility for the Ward 4 residents who want them.

The city's Shade Tree program, which was started in 1989, will give a tree to any Ward 4 resident who wants one, Caggiano said. It's funded through the city's timber harvesting fees, he said. That means anytime a developer takes trees in the city, the fees for that harvest go into a special account to pay for new trees in Nashua. Residents in other wards are able to buy trees through the same program, and Parks and Recreation will make sure they get the tree, Caggiano said.

Tom Lopez, Ward 4's alderman, said this initiative shows residents of these neighborhoods that the city cares.

"People living in the tree streets have hope for their neighborhoods," he said.

Nashua is a member of Tree City USA, a nationwide program that provides direction, assistance and recognition for communities that utilize its framework for healthy, sustainable urban forestry programs, according to a statement put out by the mayor's office.

The areas of focus for planting for the initiative include the Heritage Rail Trail, Chestnut Street, and the streets surrounding Elm Street Middle School. Of particular interest is the planting of a new hybrid species of elm tree. This new hybrid tree will be planted in front of Elm Street Middle School on Elm Street and will once again allow elm trees to lend shade to the street for which it is named.

Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-6531 or dfisher@nashuatelegraph.com.