State commits final tree-replanting funds
BOSTON (AP) — The state announced Monday that it’s providing the last $3 million needed to replant 30,000 trees in the central Massachusetts area hard hit by the Asian longhorned beetle.
The destructive beetle, native to China, was first discovered in the Worcester area in 2008. The infestation spread to several communities around the city and nearly 32,000 trees were eventually cut down to try to eradicate the insect, which kills trees by boring through them.
On Monday, Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray and U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern announced the final piece of funding for the Worcester Tree Initiative, a public-private partnership they began in 2009 with a goal of replacing 30,000 trees.
McGovern said that as a resident of the area affected by the beetle, he’s gotten a firsthand look as the devastation the beetle caused.
The $3 million is part of $9 million in public funds allotted for the replanting, including federal, state and local money. The rest of the initiative has been funded by $450,000 in private contributions from individuals and companies, including Wal-Mart and CSX.