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NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION NEWS RELEASE
RELEASE: 12/19/01
01/145

CONTACT: Amy Collings (609) 984-1795 or
Dana Loschiavo 609-984-0504

CHAMPION TREE CLIMBER, TREE RESCUE TEAM, DISEASE EXPERT, AND OTHER TREE ADVOCATES HONORED FOR GREENING THE GARDEN STATE

It's more than Christmas trees that are making New Jersey's towns and cities greener.

"Community forestry programs have 'taken root' in New Jersey as more and more towns realize the visual, social, economic, and environmental benefits of trees," according to State Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Shinn.

To acknowledge and encourage these municipal efforts, four winners of the 2001 Green Community Achievement Awards were selected by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Forest Service in conjunction with the New Jersey Community Forestry Council and the New Jersey Tree Foundation.

The awards recognize contributions of exceptional merit in the field of urban and community forestry. State Forester James Barresi presented the 9th annual Green Community Achievement Awards during ceremonies in Cherry Hill recently.

"The efforts of the four recipients improve the Garden State's environment and overall quality of life through wise management and care of trees, raising awareness of the value of community trees, and enhancing the beauty of towns and cities with trees," Barresi said.

This year's winners are:

Mark Chisholm - Jackson Township
Chisholm works at Aspen Tree Experts, his family's business in Jackson, and is the reigning International Society of Arboriculture World Champion Tree Climber for the second time, as well as the ISA NJ Chapter Tree Climbing Champion for the last ten consecutive years. He provides demonstrations and seminars across New Jersey and around the world that have raised industry standards. He was chosen for the award because of his competitive spirit, exemplary sportsmanship, and tireless efforts on behalf of arborists throughout the country and for the exceptional merit of his professional contributions to improving the safety and instruction of those in the profession. Chisholm is also a New Jersey Certified Tree Expert (CTE).

Cliff Pfleider - Moorestown Township
Pfleider works for the Moorestown Department of Public Works in Burlington County and was selected for his initiative and perseverance that ultimately achieved the heightened awareness of Bacterial Leaf Scorch as a serious threat to the health of our forests. A New Jersey Certified Tree Expert, he was recognized for his leadership role in convening a national Bacterial Leaf Scorch Symposium at Rutgers. He serves on the New Jersey Community Forestry Council and has used his creativity and public relations talent to bring Community Forestry statewide media attention through personal appearances on cable TV, the radio, and in newspapers. As Pfleider received the award he said, " You don't win an award like this by yourself - everyone I've worked with deserves the credit."

Manalapan Shade Tree Committee - Manalapan
Louise Lang, Chair of the Manalapan Shade Tree Committee, accepted the award on behalf of her group for exemplary leadership and unprecedented foresight in community forestry. This was evidenced by their efforts that protected the character of their community forest and hundreds of acres of trees during Manalapan's development through innovative educational programs and bold outreach projects. Lang commented, "Somebody recognized we're doing a bang-up job. It makes you feel good that somebody noticed." Manalapan, in addition to having hired a CTE consulting forester, maintaining their Tree City USA status for 10 years, and having an approved Community Forest Management Plan, hosted the 2001 New Jersey Arbor Day Celebration with more than 300 guests as the inaugural event at their new Municipal Arboretum.

New Jersey Youth Corps - Phillipsburg
George Paffendorf, director of the New Jersey Youth Corps (NJYC), accepted the Youth Project Category award on behalf of the NJYC of Phillipsburg. NJYC received this award for maintaining 2,500 trees on a 12-acre tree farm and securing a DEP Recreational Trails Grant to establish an accessible, 3/4-mile interpretive trail at the tree farm while forming the Riparian Rescue Team. The Rescue Team moves native species trees from land targeted for development to the tree farm for use in future streamside restoration and reforestation projects.

"These beautifully coordinated, Herculean endeavors are indicative of the dedication and integrity of those involved in Youth Corps projects that improve the environment while raising awareness of the value of trees," noted Barresi.

For more information about the Green Community Achievement Awards, contact Mary Ferraro at 609-292-2532.

 

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Last Updated: December 19, 2001