Today, at a tree planting ceremony at Fredericks Park in Revere, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew A. Beaton announced an initiative to expand the Greening the Gateway Cities Program (GGCP) to include the cities of Revere and Chicopee. The program, which targets the Commonwealth\u2019s 26 Gateway Cities, is designed to utilize tree plantings as a way to reduce energy use in urban neighborhoods and lower heating and cooling costs for residents and businesses.\n\n\u201cBy extending the Greening the Gateway Cities Program to include the communities of Revere and Chicopee, our Administration continues its commitment to work closely with cities and towns across the Commonwealth to provide resources that benefit municipalities and improve the state\u2019s environment,\u201d said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.\n\n\u201cIncreased tree canopy will provide our communities with the first, and best, line of defense from excessive urban summer heat, and the biting winds of winter,\u201d said Secretary Beaton. \u201cIn addition to benefiting the Commonwealth in terms of energy efficiency, the Greening the Gateway Cities Program will provide the residents of Revere and Chicopee with cleaner air and water, reduced noise pollution, and the beatification of homes and neighborhoods within their community.\u201d\n\nWith a defined goal of a 10 percent increase in urban tree canopy in selected neighborhoods within Gateway Cities, the increase in tree cover is expected to reduce heating and cooling costs in the selected areas by approximately 10 percent, with an average homeowner saving approximately $230 a year, once the trees reach maturity. Over their lifespan, the trees are expected to lead to $400 million in energy savings for residents and businesses.\n\nAimed at improving the often low tree canopy found in the Commonwealth\u2019s Gateway Cities due to their urban character and history of manufacturing, the programs benefits are not isolated to energy efficiency. By planting trees, communities will see a reduction in storm water runoff, higher air quality, an increase in property values and tax receipts, and a safer, healthier environment for residents.\n\nUnder the program, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is spearheading tree planting efforts and is in the process of planting up to a combined15,000 trees in Chelsea, Holyoke, and Fall River. Agency staff, working in partnership with local municipalities and grassroots organizations, have developed a successful approach to planting the number of trees required to have an energy impact, focusing on high-density urban neighborhoods, where planting on average 10 trees per acre will provide benefits to 15 to 25 households. Planting this number of trees will increase canopy by an estimated 1 percent in eight years, and 10 percent in 30 years.\n\n\u201cThe Greening the Gateway Cities Program (GGCP) is not only an important tool in our overall urban forestry plan, but will be an engine for job creation and energy sustainability in these communities,\u201d said DCR Commissioner Carol Sanchez. \u201cDCR is proud to continue the long standing partnership between the Bureau of Forestry and the cities of Chicopee, Revere, Chelsea, Holyoke, and Fall River. \u00a0With the help of local community and grassroots organizations, GGCP will pay dividends in these high density urban communities where green space is needed most.\u201d\n\n\u201cWe are pleased to support tree planting in Gateway Cities, as trees are long term contributors to our efforts to meet Massachusetts\u2019 energy and climate goals,\u201d said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson.\n\nTo implement the expansion of the Greening the Gateway Cities Program, the DCR will partner with the city governments of Revere and Chicopee and community groups to plant approximately 100 trees this June, and thousands more to come. The program will also benefit the local economies of Revere and Chicopee by creating jobs for local residents. DCR will hire local workers for tree planting teams in each city, and every tree being planted will be purchased from Massachusetts nurseries.\u00a0\n\n\u201cWe are grateful to Secretary Beaton and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, along with the Baker Administration, for providing the city of Revere with the resources needed to increase our inventory of trees,\u201d said Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo. \u201cIncreasing tree canopy and green space is vital to continue to make Revere a great place to live, work and raise a family. \u00a0This has been and will continue to be a crucial priority for my Administration.\u201d\n\n\u201cGreening the Gateway Cities program is an innovative program that addresses a multitude of critical issues facing Massachusetts while making our cities better places to live and raise a family,\u201d said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Revere). \u201cI\u2019m proud of how Revere has flourished as a Gateway City and I thank the Baker Administration, our partners in the federal government and the local groups that are so committed to our community\u2019s environment.\u201d\n\n\u201cI want to thank Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito and their administration for providing the City of Revere with a \u2018Greening the Gateway Cities\u2019 grant,\u201d said State Representative RoseLee Vincent (D-Revere).\u00a0 \u201cIt is important that as an urban community, we make investments in our green spaces so that that families and children have a place to retreat from the bustle of the city.\u00a0 Through the Baker-Polito Administration\u2019s generosity, Revere will be able to use this funding to continue to green our urban area.\u201d\n\n\u201cI\u2019m very pleased to see the efforts of the Greening the Gateway Cities initiative come to fruition right here in Revere,\u201d said Senator Anthony Petruccelli (D-East Boston). \u201cThe program is an effective way to best ensure environmental and energy efficiency with our constituents seeing benefits both esthetically and fiscally.\u201d\n\n\u201cThe City of Chicopee greatly appreciates the Commonwealth\u2019s commitment through our City and its neighborhoods by providing us with a number of replacement trees,\u201d said Chicopee Mayor Richard J. Kos. \u201cAs a Gateway City, positive impact on neighborhoods and our community as a whole will be measured.\u201d\n\n\u0022Greening the Gateway Cities is a great fit for Chicopee, and I am pleased that its residents will benefit not only from the energy-saving and environmental aspects of the program, but also from the beautification of their neighborhoods as the tree-planting progresses,\u201d said State Senator James Welch (D-West Springfield).