Rebuilding Worcester’s Urban Forest 

Worcester Tree Initiative (WTI) was initiated in January 2009 by Congressman Jim McGovern and Lt. Governor Tim Murray, after officials estimated that tens of thousands of trees would need to be removed due to an an infestation of the invasive Asian Longhorned Beetle, but there was no plan to replace them. WTI filled that role and was able to plant 30,000 trees in Worcester and surrounding towns in October of 2014.

Since then, WTI has continued to plant trees and expanded their tree care training program, forming the Stewards in the Streets program, and acting as community agents driving tree planting and care initiatives. WTI is eager to plant trees in neighborhoods with few green spaces and to train residents to care for them.


  • Community Tree Plantings
    We offer trees for community tree plantings in spring and fall. All tree recipients will also receive tree planting training and a tree maintenance plan provided by Worcester Tree initiative. To request a tree, please contact Ruth Seward, Outreach and Community Engagement Director, at rseward@towerhilbg.org.
  • Volunteer Opportunities
    The Outreach Department helps maintain urban greenspace in Worcester and coordinates volunteer events at these sites.  We welcome all volunteers and also have a team of trained volunteers who act as mentors and leaders in each project. You can sign up for volunteer programs through Tower Hill’s Volunteer Coordinator Suzanne Hauerstein at shauerstein@towerhillbg.org.
  • Community Trainings
    The Outreach Department offers a variety of community trainings and provides Programs by Request for interested groups. Trainings and programs are held at Tower Hill Botanic Garden or off site in the community.  We are willing to travel to your group, if that is more convenient.
  • Young Adult Forestry Program
    Every summer, Worcester Tree Initiative hires Worcester youth to water and maintain newly planted city of Worcester Street Trees. The summer staff distribute watering information to tree recipients, water at least 400 trees each week, assist with tree maintenance for the young trees and track the health of the city trees. Hiring applications can be obtained by viewing the Tower Hill Botanic Garden website or by contacting Ruth Seward at rseward@towerhillbg.org.
  • Master Tree Stewards
    We have ‘Tree Stewards Trainings’ for all levels of interests.  However, our highest level of steward is a Master Tree Steward.  In the fall we offer ‘Master Tree Stewards Training’ for anyone interested in tree stewardship. We request 20 hours of field work pruning young city of Worcester street trees, to qualify for master level steward. In the fall, we offer more tree steward training Master Tree Stewards II, with a closer look at tree topics. Throughout the year we can provide Tree Stewards Training tailored to a particular group or school’s need.
  • Educational Opportunities
    WTI offers programs for elementary, middle and high schools. We also offer programs by request for after school programs and adult community groups. To request a program, please view our Programs by Request.