Meeting, February 14

Somerville’s Urban Forest

 Dr. Vanessa Boukili, Somerville’s first full-time City Arborist, will give a general overview of the status of the City’s more than 12,000 public trees; she will talk briefly about some of her current projects, and discuss Somerville’s current tree inventory, tree risk assessments and public safety, and planting practices and programs.  She will also touch on some upcoming opportunities and additional programs that will be getting off the ground soon.

Since completing her doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2013, Vanessa Boukili has served as Research Director for the Urban Forest Program of the Earthwatch Institute [2014-2016] and as an Urban Forestry and Landscape Planner for the City of Somerville [2016-present].  At Earthwatch she collaborated with municipal leaders, educators and the general public, recruiting and training hundreds of volunteers to measure the current status of urban trees.  In Somerville, to steward the City’s public trees she carries out field work, technical analyses and public education, coordinating work among City departments.  As well Dr. Boukili manages tree-planting contracts and envisions and implements updates for the City’s Tree Inventory and Urban Forest Management Plan.  She also serves as Conservation Agent for Somerville’s Conservation Commission, which includes enforcing provisions of the state Wetlands Protection Act and Rivers Protection Act.

All Somerville Garden Club meetings are free and open to the public. 7-9pm. Meetings are held the at the Tufts Administration Building, (TAB), 167 Holland Street, second floor, wheelchair accessible. Parking is available, and the building is a ten-minute walk from the Davis Square MBTA stop.

Black Swallow-wort Pod Patrol


Black Swallow-work covering a chain link fence

Black Swallow-wort covering a chain link fence

Join the Pod Patrol!
Pluck pods in your neighborhood
 and share this information with
 your neighbors and friends!

About Black Swallow-wort

Beginning with shiny green leaves in pairs, purple star-shaped flowers and grappling spaghetti-like roots in summer, Black Swallow-wort becomes armed with seed pods resembling green chili peppers. This invasive vine threatens monarch butterflies and songbirds, and displaces native plant communities vital to insects, birds and other urban wildlife. Swallow-wort crowds out milkweed, the only plant where monarch butterflies lay eggs. Monarchs mistake the swallow-wort for the milkweed, lay their eggs there, and the larvae die.

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