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MED Planting 100s of trees each in and around Massena each year

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MASSENA - Thanks to a partnership with the New York Power Authority and Alcoa, Massena Electric Department (MED) has been able to plant nearly 2,000 trees in Massena over the past eight years.

“We’ve planted 126 in 2012,” according to MED Superintendent Andrew J. McMahon, explaining the plantings have been possible because of NYPA’s Tree Power Program and Alcoa’s Releaf Grant.

Deputy Superintendent Dale F. Raymo said all that planting has been done since the end of May.

Two areas of focus this year were the neighborhood surrounding Alcoa Field, where approximately 70 trees were planted on Park Avenue, Bishop Avenue and Sycamore Street; and the Alvern area along Parker Avenue, where approximately 30 trees were planted.

“We earmarked two areas that were really in need of some vegetation,” Mr. Raymo said.

Last year they focused on the Marie Street and Lawrence Street area, where roughly 50 trees were planted.

Mr. McMahon said the neighborhoods where planting occurred the past two years were identified in the Massena’s Urban and Community Forrest Strategic Plan.

“Alcoa and NYPA came along at a good time to help us with these projects,” Mr. McMahon said.

He said MED’s partnership with Alcoa dates back to 2011, while they’ve been working consistently with NYPA on tree plantings since 2004.

“The Releaf Grant came along, and we were able to couple that with the Tree Power Program,” Mr. McMahon said.

As for the Tree Power Program, Mr. McMahon said, “We’ve done NYPA’s Tree Power Program pretty consistently since 2004.”

Since that time Mr. Raymo said MED has planted between 100 and 200 trees per year in and around Massena, with a total of roughly 1,750 trees being planted since 2004 for an average of roughly 190 trees per year.

While the change in these neighborhoods is already apparent, Mr. McMahon said in a few more years it will be even more so.

“In two years after those trees mature it will really be noticeable,” he said.

Mr. McMahon also noted when it came time to plant this year’s trees that were presented with a small, but welcome problem.

“The trees were much larger than we expected,” he said.

“Between MED employees, interns and the village Department of Public Works and equipment we were able to get them planted,” Mr. Raymo said.

Mr. Raymo also said he would like to remind citizens living in the areas where these trees have been planted that like flowers they also need to be watered.

“These trees need as much water as possible,” he said.

While the Releaf grant may have expired this year, Mr. McMahon said he’s looking forward to continuing to work with Alcoa and NYPA to continue planting trees.

“We’ll be looking at other neighborhoods and are hoping to work with Releaf and NYPA again next year,” he said.

While the bulk of MED’s attention is given to planting the trees, Mr. McMahon said that’s not all that they do.

“We have pruned some trees, and we have cut down some healthy trees,” he said. “But we have planted a lot of trees.”

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