Every year New Bedford city officials pledge themselves to planting over 500 trees.

They announced their progress during a press conference Wednesday morning, with Zeb Arruda, the Commissioner of the city's Department of Public Infrastructure, telling WBSM News that they are well on their way.

"The goal was to plant 500 trees per year, this is our third consecutive year of making that goal," said Arruda "as of this (Wednesday) morning we were at tree number 465 with 35 left to reach that goal."

While the trees are often cited as a way to provide more pleasant scenery, Arruda says they also provide many other essential benefits.

"Cleaning the air is probably the primary," said Arruda "absorbs odors, pollutants from the air, provides clean oxygen for us to breath, cools down our streets."

In addition Arruda says that trees help to preserve water and reduce runoff from storms that often causes pollution in our local waterways.

Arruda says they expect to meet their annual goal of having 500 trees planted by Monday.

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