Volunteers plant 50 new trees in Northfield to celebrate town’s 350th anniversary

The Northfield Tree50th Project has reached its goal of planting 50 new shade and ornamental trees along Northfield’s Main Street.

The Northfield Tree50th Project has reached its goal of planting 50 new shade and ornamental trees along Northfield’s Main Street. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Report

Published: 05-27-2024 11:36 AM

NORTHFIELD — The Northfield Tree50th Project has reached its goal of planting 50 new shade and ornamental trees along Northfield’s Main Street in honor of the town’s 350th anniversary.

Organized by five members of the Northfield Garden Club, the project raised nearly $7,000 to support the effort, added to by the town’s 350th Anniversary Committee.

Judy Wagner, a member of the Northfield Tree Team, described this project as a “team effort.” The state Department of Conservation and Recreation provided a forester, the Highway Department helped haul trees and dig holes for them, and volunteers donated equipment and time.

“To top it all off, the junior firefighters will help with weekly watering to keep the trees healthy,” Wagner said in a statement. “People feel really satisfied to be part of an effort that not only improves our current Main Street, but gives a gift to the future.”

“Part of Main Street’s beauty is its handsome old trees,” said Martha Tenney, president of the Northfield Garden Club and a member of the Tree Team. “But as older trees reach the natural end of their lives, we need to establish a new generation of trees. This project helps us reach this goal.”

“So many neighbors participated,” added Pam Eldridge. “Neighbors enthusiastically agreed to be ‘tree hosts’ along the MassDOT right of way, and we tried to match trees to the preferences of residents. So many people stopped as we were planting and thanked the group for this effort.”

Wagner noted that organizers also want to thank Sugarloaf Gardens in Sunderland for technical support and some generous donations of trees. Also, Franklin County Technical School’s horticultural program provided many of the trees for this spring planting.

“In this time of global warming, these trees will provide shade, reduce pollution from passing traffic, absorb water from increased rainfall, add habitat and help moderate winds,” Wagner said.

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Northfield Tree Team members Lynn Hansell and Victoria “Tori” Luksha are working on a map of tree locations and tree species for public information. The group still has some unspent funds and will meet soon to discuss possible future projects in town.