Cushman & Wakefield's John Arzoomanian coordinated the manpower, equipment and supplies for the event. A pick-up equipped team from Brown University led by Nicholas Moi was on hand to do the heavy lifting. Despite the less than clement nature of the weather, spirits were high and, as in past years, the team accomplished a great deal.
Chestnut St. was the center of operations. Earlier in the year, City Forester Doug Still had done a walk-around tree survey with the JDA and identified problem trees and ones needing replacement. So, in the week prior to the Clean-up, new tree cuts were made, old ones prepped, and Friday morning, five young trees were on site, ready for planting.
These are the first trees planted by the city in the District in years. Yes, RIDoT planted more than 100 trees along the "new" streets created by the removal of I-195, and Brown U. planted large trees along its medical school on Richmond St. And that's it.
A little ancient history is worth mentioning: a survey from forty years ago showed an industrial neighborhood with just three trees. Over the years, the JDA has worked with the city and managed to re-forest much of the District. Pear trees in full flower on Clifford St. and other examples here and there show the results of that effort. But some of those trees are now 30 years old. In his survey, the City Forester noted many damaged or ailing trees and empty sidewalk cuts where trees used to be (useful, perhaps, for giving RI-style directions).
Getting five slender new trees is real progress. And having so many willing hands out there in the rain to get the trees into the ground and the street spruced up, is great for your neighborhood.