DEP Commemorates Employee Service
with a Tree Planting Ceremony
in Trenton’s Historic Mill Hill section
(05/99) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell and Mayor Douglas
H. Palmer of Trenton today honored DEP employees for their years
of public service with the first tree planting ceremony in the
historic Mill Hill section of Trenton.
“New Jersey is proud of the steadfast commitment to public
service by DEP employees and all state workers,” said Acting
Governor Richard J. Codey. “We celebrate the dedication
of our state DEP workers with this ceremony and appreciate their
efforts to protect New Jersey’s environment.”
The innovative program offers employees an option to collectively
plant trees in lieu of receiving a traditional award for their
service. Employees with a minimum of ten years can participate
in the Tree Initiative Service Award. Over 200 employee chose
to support tree plantings to honor their years of service.
“I am proud to be part of the department’s first
tree planting ceremony honoring the commitment of DEP employees
to the environment and our capitol city,” said Commissioner
Campbell. “The 27 trees planted in Mill Hill will provide
shade and beauty for the city of Trenton and will stand as a testament
to the spirit and dedication demonstrated by DEP employees each
and every day.”
The 27 trees planted in Mill Hill Park include magnolias, white
and pink-flowering yellowwoods, lindens, hawthornes and river
The Mill Hill Park section of Trenton is a historic location
encompassing the city's first settlement site founded in 1679.
The history of Mill Hill also includes the Second battle of Trenton,
in which General George Washington led the Continental Army against
General Cornwalls and the British and Hessian forces.
The gift of planting trees in downtown Trenton supports the Department’s
Cool Cities Initiative, to improve the quality of life in New
Jersey’s cities and older suburbs by planting shade trees
to promote better health with lower temperatures, while combating
“The environmental benefits of lowering energy costs, improving
air quality, and beautifying the city should make tree planting
a major emphasis for all cities,” said Mayor Palmer. “Thanks
to our collaboration with DEP, we already have planted close to
1,000 trees in Trenton just this past year. One of the most impressive
things about today’s effort is the commitment to Trenton
that has been expressed by DEP employees. We are deeply appreciative
- they have made a tremendous statement about what is valuable.”
Temperatures in urban settings are often five degrees higher
than surrounding suburbs and rural areas, which is referred to
as the "urban heat island" effect. As temperatures increase
city residents often experience an increase in incidences of heat
exhaustion and asthma attacks. Also, higher temperatures result
in more expensive utility bills due to residents’ longer
use of air conditioning. Trees can help to lower these urban temperatures
by as much as six to 19 degrees.
In addition to providing shade from the sun, trees provide oxygen
and cool the air by emitting droplets of water that draw heat
as they evaporate, a process called "evapotranspiration."
The benefits of trees include their ability to absorb sound and
provide habitats for birds and animals. Their leaves help improve
air quality by absorbing noxious gases and trapping particulate
matter. Furthermore, trees prevent erosion by helping to filter
and clean water supplies, and reduce runoff and flooding.
Planting trees can transform an urban neighborhood’s appearance
and even increase market value, as nature becomes part of the
communities where New Jersey residents live and work.
For additional information on DEP tree planting initiatives visit