Tower Hill Botanic Garden’s Outreach Department constructs and cares for several green spaces in the city of Worcester. Through our Tree Stewards Program, we also assist with garden care & training throughout Worcester County. The projects we coordinate help educate volunteers from all walks of life. They also enable us to assist the Department of Public Works and Parks in Worcester.
Here are some examples of the urban green spaces we help care for:
Dodge Park, Worcester: In 2011, the decision was made to eliminate all host material in this Burncoat neighborhood park due to the repeated outbreaks of the Asian Long horned Beetle. This resulted in the removal of 1,000 mature maple trees from the park, making it a barren landscape. Within six months, the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR), the Worcester Tree Initiative (WTI) and CSX Train Corporation replanted 1,000 trees in this 13–acre greenspace. Since then, WTI, now a program of Tower Hill Botanic Garden’s Outreach Department, has managed hundreds of volunteers on this site to care for the trees and to manage the trails system in the park. Groups who have helped here include: Open Sky, Inc., Nathaniel Wheeler Trust Foundation, Working 4 Worcester, United Way Day of Caring, WPI student groups, Boy Scouts of America, WTI’s young Adult Foresters; WTI’s Tree Steward volunteers, USDA volunteers, College of the Holy Cross and Clark University student groups.
Eagle Statue, Worcester: In 2014, District 1 City Councilor Tony Economou and Worcester Tree initiative planted trees and woody plants to revitalize this green space. Today, it is a well utilized space for all ages. The students at ArtReach on West Boylston Street, WTI and the city of Worcester DPW Department help plant and maintain this space.
West Boylston Street, Worcester: The West Boylston Street beautification project in 2014, resulted from collaboration between city representatives, DPW, WTI and Pan Am Railways, working to improve the beauty of the retail district of West Boylston Street in Worcester. Today, WTI continues to care for the trees planted there and improve the ecological value of the site by adding hearty ground cover plants and pollinator plants.
Franklin Street Traffic Island, Worcester: Trees at this traffic island were planted by the city of Worcester and smaller native perennials were chosen and planted by Tower Hill Botanic Garden Horticulture Team. WTI, the Horticulture Department, Tower Hill garden volunteers, Open Sky Inc. volunteers planted the perennials. WTI maintains the site weeding and adding annuals for color.
Hanover Theater, Worcester: Creating container garden space, THBG Horticulture Team and WTI team designed and planted lovely winter natives to enhance the Hanover Plaza. Maintained by Hanover volunteers, it adds a colorful inviting entrance to the theater space.
Peace Park, Worcester: Located on Winslow Street and Pleasant Street, this park was designed and funded by the resident “Pleasant Street Neighborhood Network.” The park serves as a green oasis in an otherwise concrete jungle and it is well utilized by picnickers, families and community members. WTI has staged several large clean up efforts to support our friends who maintain this park.