Above: One of the two trees provided and planted by the EG Rotary at Academy Field in May. The planters, from left: Daphne and Bill Ten Eyke, Harry Waterman and Ken Mills from the Rotary and Doug Brown and Elizabeth McNamara from the EG Tree Council.
Submitted by the EG Tree Council
The East Greenwich Tree Council planted 8 trees in May, with the help of the Town of East Greenwich, the EG Rotary Club and EG Girl Scout Troop 182. The volunteer tree council works with the town and interested groups to restore the urban canopy in neighborhoods where mature trees have fallen or been removed over the years.
There are a surprising number of steps required before you are finally able to put shovels in the ground. But the work is worth it, especially as we learn more and more about the benefits of trees. Not only do they help in the challenge of climate change – trees are magical carbon-eating factories – but they help cool us in the summer, provide beauty year round and even help increase property values.
This spring’s plantings include both public and private properties, including the two maple trees donated by the EG Rotary that are now planted on either side of the bleacher overlooking Academy Field. Rotarians Bill Ten Eyke (and his wife Daphne), Harry Waterman and Ken Mills helped get those good-sized trees into the ground. Nothing like digging a big hole on a Friday afternoon!
At the same time not far away, the Girl Scouts were planting a Kwansan Cherry tree across from Swift Community Center. The troop got involved because of a national Girl Scout pledge to plant 5 million trees over the next five years.
For the Rotary, the tree planting was the fulfillment of their decision to donate the money they raised through their April e-waste recycling drive.
“The Club wanted to donate the funds we raised with the Earth Day Recycling event locally and to an environmentally friendly organization,” said Ten Eyke. “As we brainstormed options the EG Tree Council was identified. Planting trees with EG Tree Council creates another chance to positively impact our Community (and break a sweat). We see our funds being put to good use and they bring a smile to my face every time I bike or drive by the trees we planted at Academy Field. Also nice knowing other locations and tree plantings are planned.”
The council also planted 5 other trees in front of houses on Spring Street, Eldredge Avenue, Cedar Avenue, Allen Drive and Greene Street. This was the largest single planting session we’ve accomplished since we formed in 2014. To date, we have planted more than 40 trees. Thanks to the Rotary and the Town of East Greenwich, the fall looks even more promising, with several sites already identified.
Special shoutouts to Bill Ten Eyke and the rest of EG Rotary, to Joe Duarte and Mark Conboy at the Dept. of Public Works, and to Andy Wade and Bill Pagliarini at the Dept. of Community Services. It was a real group effort!
If you would like a street tree in front of your house, let us know. We can’t accommodate everyone but we hope to keep adding trees for years to come.
And we are always happy to have new recruits. This summer, we are embarking on a tree-mapping project in conjunction with the town. And of course, we’ll be watering those public trees during the hotter, drier months. If you have a love of trees and want to get involved, contact [email protected]. You don’t need to know a lot about trees – you’ll learn!