Contaminated lot in Providence turned into nursery

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A nonprofit that promotes urban ecology in part through environmental job training has transformed a contaminated lot in Providence into a nursery with 300 trees.

Groundwork Providence on Friday morning marked the opening of the Hope Tree Nursery in the city's Elmwood section. It's located at a former brownfields site redeveloped by crews from GroundCorp, which offers training and transitional employment to graduates of Groundwork's sustainable landscaping job training program.

Ray Perreault (puh-ROH') of Groundwork Providence says the 4,500-square-foot nursery includes 27 tree species, ranging from sassafras to scrub oak. The trees will be sold at low cost to residents in communities with the least tree cover.

Perreault's group is working with the city to plant 40,000 trees in Providence to increase the canopy to 30 percent, up from 23 percent, by 2020.