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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2012

Contact: Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Bob Considine (609) 984-1795

DEP CELEBRATES 63rd STATE ARBOR DAY;
HONORS HADDON TOWNSHIP’S FORESTRY EFFORTS

(12/P50) TRENTON - The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Community Forestry Program, the New Jersey Community Forestry Council, and the New Jersey Tree Foundation celebrated Arbor Day today by planting more than 100 trees along the streets of Haddon Township and in Crystal Lake Park in Camden County.

“Today we recognize the importance of trees, their beauty and ecological value, and applaud those committed to tree planting and care across New Jersey,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin, who joined in the tree planting effort. “We especially salute Haddon Township this year for their hard work to develop a healthy, safe and sustainable forest canopy in their town, to help create a greener and better environment for their residents.”

More than 300 volunteers, including members of the New Jersey Youth Corps and students from local schools, pitched in today in the Haddon Township planting effort. Volunteers planted shade trees such as sugar maple, willow oak, flowering dogwood, blackgum, Okame cherry, London plane tree, Greenspire linden, and swamp white oak.

These trees provide year-round beauty and benefits with spring flowers, summer shade, autumn color and protection from winter winds. In addition, the plantings will help restore the declining tree canopy in Crystal Lake Park and the surrounding community where many trees have died from old age or diseases such as bacterial leaf scorch.

Arbor Day 2012 also included a ceremonial planting of a white oak, a stately native New Jersey tree that has been known to live up to 600 years.

“Trees along New Jersey’s streets and in local parks are just as important as trees in the forest,” said State Forester Lynn Fleming. “Each tree planted today beautifies the community while providing clean air and water, shade, and runoff protection for many years.”

The DEP has been promoting Arbor Day statewide since 1949, when the Legislature designated the last Friday in April as the official day to honor trees and the people who take care of them.

The State Arbor Day celebration this year included the assistance and cooperation of many partners, supporters, and volunteers who promote the efforts of the New Jersey State Forestry Services Community Forestry Program. Included were the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association, New Jersey Shade Tree Federation, Project Learning Tree, Society of Certified Tree Experts and Haddon Township Shade Tree Commission.  

During the Arbor Day ceremony, the DEP presented the prestigious Joyce Kilmer Award for outstanding contributions to community forests, as well as awards for Tree City USA anniversaries, Tree Line USA, and Tree Campus USA.

The Tree City USA Award program, sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters, recognizes cities, counties, and military bases that develop tree management programs and help educate the community on tree care. With 172 Tree City USA communities, more than any state in the northeast and ranked fourth overall, New Jersey shows a strong commitment to maintain and enhance our community forests.

Also, student artists, one each from grades K-12 from schools across the state, received Arbor Day Art Contest awards for their posters, “Kids and Trees, Growing Together.”

Tree City USA Anniversary Awards:

20th Year:  Montgomery Township, Hackensack, Trenton
1st Year: Camden, Hightstown Borough, Mercer County, Middle Township, New Milford, Newton, Phillipsburg, Robbinsville, Woodstown Borough

Calendar Art Contest Awards:
Kindergarten – Second Grade
First place: Alina Nesimi, first grade, Fanny Meyer Hillers Elementary School, Hackensack; Second Place: Rilee Lind, second grade, Bishop McHugh Regional School, Cape May Court House; Third Place: Vaishnavi Palasamudrum, kindergarten, Little Treasures Learning Center, Edison.

Third Grade – Fifth Grade
First place: Paulina Chavez, fourth grade, Resurrection School, Jersey City; Second Place: Ariana Novo, fifth grade, St. Ambrose School, Old Bridge; Third Place: Alexa Acuna, fourth grade, Resurrection School, Jersey City.

Sixth Grade – Eighth Grade
First place: Jaeeun (Jessica) Cho, eighth grade, St. Joseph’s School, Oradell; Second Place: Hyewon Kim, eighth grade, St. Joseph’s School, Oradell; Third Place: Karas Cowger, sixth grade, The Community School, Teaneck.

Ninth Grade – Twelfth Grade
First place: Tinhinane Khelifi, twelfth grade, Henry Snyder High School, Jersey City; Second Place: Britney Payton, eleventh grade, Saint Vincent Academy, Newark; Third Place: Hasna Farrukh, eleventh grade, An-Noor Academy, Piscataway

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Last Updated: April 10, 2012