The Massachusetts Urban and Community Forestry Program assists communities and nonprofit groups in protecting, growing, and managing community trees and forest ecosystems, with the ultimate aim of improving the environment and enhancing livability of all of Massachusetts' communities. We provide grants, technical assistance, training, and recognition awards to communities of all sizes throughout Massachusetts. The program also provides guidance on urban forestry policy issues at the state level.

What is Urban and Community Forestry?

Urban and community forests are the trees, plants and associated ecosystems anywhere where people are - country roads in rural towns, new developments in the suburbs, or concrete neighborhoods in cities and old mill towns. Our landscape is a continuum from rural forest to city center. We live, work, play and learn all along this continuum.

Urban and Community Forestry is Not Just about Trees. Trees and shrubs along streets, in parks, or in cultivated landscapes are the most prominent features of the urban and community forest. But there's more to a forest than just the trees. The other plants, soils, air, and water that are part of the community make up an ecological system that supports wildlife, a clean environment and a healthy home for humans.

The Health of the Urban Forest Affects the Quality of Our Lives. Would you rather live on a street lined with beautiful trees, or one without green? The health of urban and community forest ecosystem affects the quality of the water we drink, the air we breathe, the stability of our neighborhoods, and our sense of community and individual pride.

Community Forestry Builds Stronger Communities. The most important aspect of Urban and Community Forestry is “community.” Planting trees, gardening, teaching young people about nature, creating a land use plan – these activities bring diverse members of our communities together, strengthen our bond to the landscape, and improve the quality of life for the benefit of the whole community. As our urban and community forests grow, so too does our sense of pride, our local economy, and our quality of life.

What Makes a Strong Urban and Community Forestry Program?

What's New

  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs request for quotes for Urban Tree Planting now available!

    Quotes Sought For: Planting trees in designated locations on private and public land in urban neighborhoods, and associated work for the Greening the Gateway Cities Program.

    This program seeks to plant trees in Gateway Cities in order to reduce the amount of energy required to heat and cool residences and businesses. The objective is to plant trees in Holyoke, Fall River, and Chelsea, on private land by hand and on public land by whatever method is determined to be most efficacious.  This planting is part of a larger initiative to raise tree canopy cover by 20% of urbanized focus areas, as part of the implementation of the Tree Planting Policy and statewide emissions goals described in the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020.

    Eligible Quotes include any combination of the following: 1) Planting trees in Chelsea, Fall River, and/or Holyoke; 2) watering and maintenance of trees planted in Chelsea, Fall River, and/or Holyoke; 3) concrete cutting and associated work to create new tree planting pits.  Go to the COMMBUYS website for full details:

    Deadline for submission of Quotes is Monday, September 15, 2014, 4:00pm

  • 2013 Tree City
  • Urban and Community Forestry Grants Available!
  • Massachusetts Tree Steward Training
  • Community Tree Ordinances and Bylaws for Massachusetts Communities

Contact Us

Please contact us with any questions or comments concerning Urban and Community Forestry in Massachusetts:

Julie Coop, Urban & Community Forester

Mollie Freilicher, Community Action Forester