Bill Gleason Bill Gleason


South Boston, Massachusetts

Planting Builds Pride in New Community

South Boston's West Broadway Neighborhood was once a heavy industry site and transportation hub. But with demand for housing on the upswing, apartments and condos began to reshape the neighborhood and attract new residents.

Bill Gleason was one of the first to move into the renovated neighborhood that is bordered by two interstate highways and a commuter rail line. Recognizing the need for trees, he and his neighbors took advantage of grants provided by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation's Urban & Community Forestry Program and started planting.

More than 100 trees are now in the ground and with good results. "The best thing about planting trees was that it showed new residents that we care about our neighborhood," says Bill. He says that getting to know each other was also important as the residents worked together to plant along the streets, create pocket parks, and develop a buffer to soften the view of nearby industries.

The project also impressed prospective tenants and transit workers that pass through the area on their way to the rail and bus yards. Tree planting and green spaces have made a big improvement in this new section of Boston and brought new neighbors together in a way that would have not otherwise been possible.

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The biggest benefit of the trees is building community and getting to know each other.

Bill Gleason


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