Saugus scores $100,000 grant for tree planting

SAUGUS — The town received a $100,000 grant from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission for the development and implementation of a plan to plant more trees.

The grant was received through the commission’s Community Mitigation Fund, which awards funds to communities that host or are adjacent to communities hosting casinos, as well as other “qualified applicants.” Saugus does not directly border Everett, where the Encore Casino and Resort is located, but does border both Malden and Revere, which are adjacent to Everett.

In Saugus, the money will be directed toward “the selection and mobilization of a contractor to develop a tree-planting plan and then funds to cover the cost of the tree planting and care,” the Gaming Commission said in a statement. The money was labeled as “specific impact” funding by the commission.

Selectman Jeff Cicolini hailed the grant as “great news” for Saugus.

“Anytime we can plant trees is great in itself but to have funds earmarked for this purpose is a huge plus for the town,” he said. “The fact is the town needs more trees and more green space, and this grant will assist in maintaining the focus on this ever-important process.”

“It is another great day for Saugus,” he added. “Cannot wait to see the shovels in the ground.”

In a statement, Gaming Commission Chair Cathy Judd-Stein said the body was proud to support local communities by aiding investments in road safety, public-safety training and personnel, job-readiness programming, and tourism marketing.

“We congratulate the 2023 grant recipients and eagerly await the implementation of these innovative and tangible initiatives, which help strengthen Massachusetts communities and uphold the Commonwealth’s commitment to maximizing the benefits of the state’s gaming industries while mitigating any unintended impacts that may be associated,” Judd-Stein said.

The grant going to Saugus is part of a broader, more than $10.2 million funding package for 2023. A large portion of the funds are headed to Everett.

Since the establishment of the fund, the commission has awarded $47.2 million worth of grants, which support a “range of community needs including education, transportation, infrastructure, housing, environmental issues, public safety, and emergency services.”

Town Manager Scott Crabtree did not immediately return a request for comment on what the funding would be used for in Saugus specifically.

More Stories From Saugus