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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2007

Contact: Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994

DEP RECOGNIZES STUDENTS AND LOCAL TREE CARE PROGRAMS
AT STATE ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION IN ASBURY PARK

(07/24) TRENTON - The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Community Forestry Program, the New Jersey Community Forestry Council and the New Jersey Tree Foundation today celebrated Arbor Day by planting 100 large shade trees and a variety of grasses and shrubs around Sunset Lake in Asbury Park.

"Planting a tree is making an investment in the future of our communities," said DEP Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson. "Planting trees in Asbury Park reduces air pollution, lowers energy costs, and improves the overall quality of life in our urban communities. Trees also help filter and clean water supplies, reduce water runoff, flooding, erosion and storm water management costs."

More than 200 volunteers participated in the Arbor Day festivities by planting 100 cherry trees and a variety of grasses and shrubs around Sunset Lake. The DEP presented Tree City USA awards to communities marking their 30th, 20th and 1st anniversaries and the prestigious Joyce Kilmer Award, which honors individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to New Jersey's community forests. The DEP also recognized the winners of the Arbor Day notecard contest for students.

The recipient of the Joyce Kilmer Award this year is the Asbury Park Environmental Shade Tree Commission for its outstanding commitment to managing and caring for community trees.

"The City of Asbury Park is honored to have been designated the 2007 Arbor Day City in New Jersey during our celebration of the city's 100th anniversary of its incorporation," Mayor Kevin G. Sanders said. "Asbury Park is experiencing a revitalization and the trees that are being planted will add to the beauty and restoration of the 'Jewel of the Jersey Shore' for generations to come."

Asbury Park Environmental Shade Tree Commission Chairperson Tom Pivinski said, "I am thrilled for the commission that they have been awarded the prestigious Joyce Kilmer Award for their work in Urban Forestry and Environment."

Also attending the Arbor Day ceremony were communities representing the Tree City USA program. Sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters, the

Tree City USA awards recognize cities, counties and military bases that have developed a comprehensive tree management program. In New Jersey, 145 communities have earned Tree City USA status - the largest number in the Northeast.

Asbury Park was chosen to host this year's Arbor Day to recognize its outstanding cooperation in the Cool Cities program, a statewide urban forest energy-efficiency initiative designed to address the urban heat island effect by reducing summertime temperatures in cities through the shading of trees. More than 1,000 trees will be planted in Asbury Park as part of this initiative.

Funded through the Board of Public Utilities, Clean Energy Program, Cool Cities was launched in the fall of 2003 to green New Jersey's large cities by planting trees to reduce the demand for electricity and lower energy consumption. Since its inception, the DEP and the BPU have planted more than 10,000 trees in urban communities statewide.

Today's celebration was made possible through the assistance and cooperation of many partners, supporters and volunteers who promote the efforts of the New Jersey Forest Service Community Forestry Program. This program facilitates the development of state-approved Community Forestry Management Plans in municipalities, counties and military bases across the Garden State.

TREE CITY USA ANNIVERSARY AWARDS FOR ARBOR DAY 2007

30th Year Morris Plains, Morris County

20th Year Nutley, Essex County

1st Year Monmouth County (First county in New Jersey to achieve this status)
Edgewater, Bergen County
Red Bank, Monmouth County
Hamilton, Mercer County
Woodcliff Lake, Bergen County
Tewksbury, Hunterdon County

Hundreds of pieces of original artwork were entered into this year's statewide student Arbor Day notecard contest. Following are this year's winners.

NJ STATEWIDE STUDENT ARBOR DAY BOOK NOTECARD CONTEST 1ST PLACE WINNERS

Kindergarten -- Ariana Perez, Clarendon School, Secaucus

Grade 1 ~ Joyce An, Milltown School, Bridgewater

Grade 2 ~ Zachary Bornyasz, A. Russell Knight School, Cherry Hill

Grade 3 ~ LeAnna Lopez, Mill Lake School, Monroe Township

Grade 4 ~ Ty Steele, Mullica Township School, Sweet Water

Grade 5 ~ Stephen Brinkerhoff, Northwest Christian School, Branchville

Grade 6 ~ Kaziyaah Muldrow, Oak Street School, Lakewood

Grade 7 ~ Michael Oliu, Millstone Township Middle School, Millstone Township

Grade 8 ~ Daniel Lizarazo, Roy W. Brown Middle School, Bergenfield

Grade 9 ~ Anthony Bell, Burlington County Special Services School District, Mount Holly

Grade 10 ~ Deannah Lopez, Creative Achievement Academy, Millville

Grade 11 ~ Curtis Bordley, Creative Achievement Academy, Egg Harbor Township

Grade 12 ~ Ernst Labady, Union County Vocational Technical High School, Roselle

 

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Last Updated: April 27, 2007