City Green Foundation

improving lives, one leaf at a time

City Green promotes and plants eco-friendly ground cover, beautiful flowers and thriving trees throughout our community.  Learn about our new Sun & Shade Project, work at Heritage State Park and Bird Bath Initiative.

To join the City Green community of people who appreciate and enjoy nature:

1. Buy and wear an enamel Tree Pin.  All proceeds finance City Green projects.

2. Take the challenge: memorize the Tree Poem by Joyce Kilmer (with some revisions) and then pass it on to someone else and challenge them to memorize it as well. The postcard will be mailed or emailed to you upon request.

3. Participate in one of our programs. Contact me for details about the Sun & Shade Project and a potential collaboration between your group and City Green.

Join us!

Join City Green and many other organizations celebrating nature on Saturday, April 20, 2024 at the wonderful Tiverton Public Library from 11am to 3pm.  City Green will be offering books from the Oscar and series by Geoff Waring to children ages 5-8 years (while supplies last).  Copies can also be borrowed from the library. The event is for anyone and everyone who loves nature.  Please stop by and say hello!

The Sun & Shade Project entails planting peony (sun) and hosta (shade) in public areas and engaging anyone with a potential green thumb from 5th graders at a middle school to elders at a senior center to participate.  The beauty of the peony is that one stem alone constitutes a bouquet and its remarkable foliage is quite enduring.  Hosta are as varied as they are plentiful and at the end of their season, splitting and sharing them ensures a plush, verdant landscape.  Of course, all this beauty masks the vital functions these plants perform, day in and day out, including reducing soil erosion as well as purifying and cooling the air.  Please contact me to discuss a possible collaboration between your group and City Green.

Under the auspices of DCR (Massachusetts' Department of Conservation and Recreation), City Green spent a wonderful year (Spring 2021 - Spring 2022) at Heritage State Park planting everything from clematis, hellebore, hosta and peony to pachysandra (all 1,200 of them).  Along with City Green volunteers David and Edward, DCR's amazing Greening the Gateway Crew - Todd, Roger, Mike, Keith, Jonathan and Darrion - lent brains and brawn to make it a very successful and enjoyable year, launching our project with the planting of a fastigiate Sweet Gum Tree and closing with the planting of a Cherry Tree, with a great deal of weeding, digging, raking and watering in between.  I'm also grateful to Garrett who was ever ready for heavy lifting, and to the many city residents who stroll the park and were always encouraging and appreciative of our efforts.  

               In 2021, another environmental enthusiast and I were discussing birds, bats, butterflies and bees as well as native shrubs and, of course, trees.  I mentioned that tree trunk stumps, while not the bane of my existence, were certainly a pet peeve.  She described placing a bird bath on top of a tree trunk stump on her property years ago.  Over an extended period of time, the persistent dampness disintegrated the wood and the insects did the rest.  Lacking the luxury of time, I started researching removal methods which might be more expeditious.  An internet search is always bound to produce a range of results and this one was no different.  Setting the tree trunk stump on fire was, in my view, the most dangerous option; drilling holes and pouring potassium nitrate into them the most toxic.  Eventually, I consulted a forester and was assured that grinding it down would be the safest and most efficacious method, albeit relatively expensive.

          The Bird Bath Initiative (BBI) is a program designed to remove tree trunk stumps from city sidewalks and to replace them with new and thriving trees.  Because of the current moratorium on tree planting on city sidewalks, availing ourselves of existing tree pits may be our only viable option.  The removal of tree trunk stumps serves several purposes including 1.  eliminating a blight throughout our city, 2. reducing a fire hazard, 3. eradicating a trip hazard, 4. clearing an impediment to street parking (passenger-side doors may be blocked), 5. allowing for the planting of new trees.  Given that there are 541 (and counting) identified tree trunk stumps in the city, the opportunity is significant!  Note:  If you thought this story would be about birds, you were right for where would the birds be without trees.  Indeed, where would any one of us be.

          The Bird Bath Initiative consists of six components:

               1.  identifying tree trunk stump locations

               2.  securing Dig Safe approval for new planting

               3.  securing resident approval & agreement to participate in tree maintenance 

               4.  removing tree trunk stumps

               5.  planting new trees

               6.  monitoring & maintaining tree development

          The City Arborist has over the course of the past three years virtually completed the first step.  Todd Gildersleeve, DCR Urban Forester, recommends grinding down tree trunk stumps as the safest and most effective removal process.  Presumably, having once been cleared for planting, these tree sites are likely to receive Dig Safe approval for new planting.  Likewise, I anticipate that residents will welcome the removal of tree trunk stumps and the planting of new trees.  This work, as well as the monitoring and maintenance of new trees, could best be achieved by a well-coordinated collaboration among experienced arborists, foresters and contractors, committed city officials and trained, dedicated paid volunteers.   As with any vital infrastructure project, a significant infusion of capital is essential.

Update:  On September 24, 2021, Governor Baker's office announced the award of several climate-related grants and one of them was to the City of Fall River in the amount of $20,000 to implement an initial phase of the Bird Bath Initiative.

Downloadable File

             Margaret Mead, anthropologist,  1978 Planetary Citizen of the Year                      

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  

Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. 


Trees by Joyce Kilmer *

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth's free flowing breast;

A tree that looks to God all day,

And lifts her leafy limbs to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her in her hair; 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 

Who sways in sync with wind and rain,

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

                                            *  I took some liberties with the original.


Whether the weather be fine

Or whether the weather be not,

Whether the weather be cold 

or whether the weather be hot,

We'll weather the weather

whatever the weather

Whether we like it or not.



Please send a message if you'd like to hear more about the Sun & Shade Project, to purchase Tree Pins, to request a Tree Poem postcard
(by mail or email) or just to say hello.   Looking forward to hearing from you,  Mary-Louise