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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24, 2017

Contact: Rob Geist (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Caryn Shinske (609) 984-1795

CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES ALMOST $400,000 IN STATE URBAN AND COMMUNITY FORESTRY GRANTS
18 GRANTS SUPPORT RESILIENCY PLANNING & REFORESTATION IN 10 COUNTIES

(17/P83) TRENTON – Commissioner Bob Martin announced today that the Department of Environmental Protection is awarding almost $400,000 in grants to 18 municipalities in 10 counties across the state to promote robust stewardship of community trees and forests.

“I’m pleased to have these grants going to the communities and locations that cherish our trees and do the hard work necessary to ensure the Garden State will always have these important resources available for this and future generations,” said Commissioner Martin.

The 18 awards are being issued by the New Jersey Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry program (NJUCF) through Community Stewardship Incentive Program (CSIP) grants.  The grant program focuses upon the communities’ implementation of NJUCF approved Community Forestry Management Plans.  The 2017 CSIP grants are funded by the “Treasure Our Trees” state license plate fund and the No Net Loss Reforestation program. 

Communities in Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic and Somerset Counties were recipients of this year’s grants. 

“Right now, the Emerald Ash Borer – an invasive species which kills ash trees - is the most significant threat to the health, safety, and sustainability of our urban and community forests,” said State Forester John Sacco.  “It is critically important that every community and property owner act now to address this looming threat.” 

The NJUCF CSIP grants allow local governments to actively manage for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) by conducting inventories to identify ash trees in their communities, develop EAB mitigation plans, and to reforest their communities to compensate for ash trees which are removed, Sacco explained.  

The greatest numbers of ash trees are found in central and northern New Jersey and 54 communities in 12 counties have had EAB detections since the first detection of the invasive pest in Somerset County in 2014.

Grants range from $10,000 to $30,000 for work on projects from community tree inventory and ash surveys to reforestation and tree planting. 

Resiliency planning grants of $10,000 have been awarded to the following municipalities: Woodbury (Gloucester County), Hamilton Township (Mercer County), Long Branch, Millstone (Monmouth County), and Clifton (Passaic County).

Reforestation/Tree Planting grants totaling $341,741have been awarded to: Bogota, Ramsey, River Edge, South Hackensack (Bergen County), Avalon (Cape May County), West Orange (Essex County), Princeton (Mercer County), East Brunswick (Middlesex County), Shrewsbury, Spring Lake (Monmouth County), Mountain Lakes (Morris County), Pompton Lakes (Passaic County), and Montgomery Township (Somerset County).  

“A comprehensive urban and community forestry program provides environmental, social, and economic benefits,” said Carrie Sargeant, Coordinator of the state’s Urban and Community Forestry program. “Communities that are accredited with the NJUCF, have a Community Forestry Management Plan in place, participate in required training and education programs, and report back to the program on their accomplishments every year.” 

There are currently 167 municipalities and five counties accredited with the NJUCF.  These communities are not only providing their residents with benefits now, but creating communities that are providing these benefits for generations to come.”

For more information, please visit the NJ Urban and Community Forestry Program  at  www.communityforestry.nj.gov and like NJDEP Urban & Community Forestry on Facebook.

For more information on Community Stewardship Incentive Program grants, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/grantandloanprograms/nhr_csip.htm

Visit the NJ Emerald Ash Borer Task Force website, www.emeraldashborer.nj.gov, to find out how communities and property owners can address the threat posed to our ash trees by the Emerald Ash Borer.

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Last Updated: August 24, 2017