New Tree Equity Planting Initiative in Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, and East Providence

We are pleased to announce that Groundwork RI has begun a new Tree Equity Initiative in the communities of Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, and East Providence! Read our Frequently Asked Questions here!

Funded by a three-year Landscape Scale Restoration grant from the U.S. Forest Service, Groundwork RI plans to plant 2,000 trees within these four northern RI communities. Trees will be planted in areas of low tree equity determined by canopy cover need with priority in urban neighborhoods.

Currently, Groundwork RI is looking to identify residential properties, businesses, and public use spaces to plant in spring/fall 2023 and for the following three years. Those interested in receiving a free tree are encouraged to reach out to our team at or to sign up directly using this form.

This tree planting initiative, like other projects Groundwork RI has completed, strives to combat tree inequality. This phenomenon is seen across the United States where low-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods of color disproportionately lack tree canopy. Consequences of a lack of canopy cover can be seen in increased levels of air and water pollution as well as greater severity of urban heat islands. American Forests, using the state of Rhode Island as a case study, worked to develop a metric they call a “Tree Equity Score” for all urbanized areas of the state down to the census block group. Each score assigned to a neighborhood is an aggregate measure of the neighborhood’s tree canopy cover combined with local climate, demographic, and socioeconomic data.

The mapping tool American Forests developed, the Tree Equity Score Analyzer or TESA, provides specific information on the neighborhoods and individual parcels of land where trees can be planted in order to achieve equitable tree cover goals. Groundwork RI is utilizing this resource for this initiative to identify where the most community benefit will be achieved from our plantings.

The trees selected for planting will be specialized to the conditions of the planting site with efforts to promote native species diversity as well as the resident/business owner’s needs and wants. Tree recipients are not required to pay any costs pertaining to the trees or tree planting. Groundwork RI’s GroundCorp landscape team will be the majority workforce planting the trees, along with students in our adult job training programs.

Once planted, these new trees will need consistent, reliable care – especially watering during the growing season! In exchange for a free tree and tree planting, Groundwork RI asks that residents and businesses receiving plantings on their properties assume the responsibility for watering their own tree for 2-3 years, until the trees get established. Recipients will receive information regarding how to perform proper tree maintenance to ensure the long-term health of their newly-planted tree.

This is Groundwork RI’s first Landscape Scale Restoration grant, providing an exciting opportunity to strengthen our tree planting capacity and develop relationships with northern Rhode Island communities. Groundwork RI is thrilled to have this opportunity and looks forward to the next round of planting!

Do you live or work in
Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, W
oonsocket, or East Providence? Interested in free trees?
Sign up here!

*The USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

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