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  • Amy Mendillo for Providence Monthly

Utility Company Makes Good on Trees

As many Fox Point neighbors know, the utility company National Grid removed three mature and beloved London plane trees last summer from South Main Street near the Van Leesten Memorial Bridge, to the fervent and vocal opposition of residents. The company refused to spare the trees at the time, but pledged to plant 66 saplings around the city, mostly in Fox Point, to compensate for the loss.

Since then, the Tree Restitution Advisory Committee has met to oversee the plantings. Representatives from the Providence Neighborhood Planting Program, Save the Trees PVD, FPNA, the Mile of History Association, and Friends of India Point Park, as well as National Grid, the City Forester, and our Ward 1 councilor, determined where trees should be planted and of what type. They have since planted trees along South Water Street, in India Point Park, in Gano Park, and behind Vartan Gregorian Elementary, where the highway sounds and pollution have been problematic. The committee also oversaw the planting of almost 30 trees near the South Side Boy & Girls Club and six trees at the Young Woods School on Prairie Ave.

While many neighbors see the removal of the London planes as an unnecessary and tragic loss, the new plantings may provide some consolation.

Image: Six conifer trees were planted behind Vartan Gregorian Elementary in mid-May to mitigate pollution and noise. Photo, Amy Mendillo.


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