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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
4/25/03

Contact: Dana Loschiavo (609) 984-1423
Amy Cradic (609) 984-1795

DEP Recognizes Students and Local Tree Care Programs at State Arbor Day Celebration in Liberty State Park: Volunteers Plant 150 Trees to Commemorate September 11th Victims

(03/62) JERSEY CITY - The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today celebrated Arbor Day at Liberty State Park, Hudson County, recognizing recipients of Tree City USA awards, Conectiv and this year's winners of a state essay contest. More than 200 volunteers and tree experts planted 150 of 691 as part of a Grove of Remembrance, a symbolic representation of the New Jersey residents whose lives were taken on September 11, 2001.

"Arbor Day gives us the chance to reflect on the many benefits of the trees around us and their significance to the environment and our lives," said DEP Deputy Commissioner Joanna Dunn Samson. "This year's Arbor Day is marked by the Grove of Remembrance that will serve as a place of reflection and healing, and provide a shaded area of retreat for all park visitors."

During this year's Arbor Day ceremony a total of 15 Tree City USA Anniversary Awards were presented to 25th, 20th and 1st year communities participating in the Tree City USA program. (See end of release for full listing of award recipients.) Additionally, three military bases were honored for maintaining their Tree City USA status with a total of 32 years among them: McGuire Air Force Base, Naval Weapons Station Earle, and Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst.

Tree City USA began as a Bicentennial Project in 1976 and is sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters. Tree City USA recognizes cities, counties, and military bases that have developed a comprehensive tree management program, and promotes tree planting and tree care. New Jersey leads the northeast in the number of Tree Cities.

The DEP's prestigious Joyce Kilmer Award was presented to Conectiv, recognizing their outstanding service and dedication to New Jersey's community trees and forests.

A listing of the nine winners of the student Arbor Day essay writing contest is presented at the end of this release. Over 1,100 essays were entered in this year's statewide competition.

The 2003 New Jersey State Arbor Day Celebration with the Grove of Remembrance at Liberty State Park was made possible through the assistance and cooperation of many partners, supporters and volunteers. The Grove of Remembrance is located in an area of the park with a view of the Manhattan skyline.

Since 1949, the New Jersey Legislature has set aside the last Friday of April as Arbor Day to promote tree planting and encourage residents throughout the State to honor trees and the people who care for them.

In addition to celebrating Arbor Day, the DEP in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced results of two jointly sponsored studies that show trees can significantly cool urban areas that generate heat and clean the air by absorbing pollution. For more information about the studies, a press release entitled "URBAN STUDY CONFIRMS TREES ARE COOL" is available on the DEP web site at www.state.nj.us/dep.

Tree City USA Anniversary Awards for Arbor Day 2003

25th Year

 

East Brunswick Township

 

Middlesex County

 

 

Merchantville Borough

 

Camden County

 

20th Year

 

Clinton Township

 

Hunterdon County

 

 

Roseland Borough

 

Essex County

 

1st Year

 

Asbury Park City

 

Monmouth County

 

 

Bergenfield Borough

 

Bergen County

 

 

Bradley Beach Borough

 

Monmouth County

 

 

Brielle Borough

 

Monmouth County

 

 

Fair Lawn Borough

 

Bergen County

 

 

Upper Saddle River Borough

 

Bergen County

 

Military Bases That Have Sustained Their Tree City USA Status:

McGuire Air Force Base
Naval Weapons Station Earle
Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst

 

Statewide Student Arbor Day Essay Writing Contest: "What Trees Mean To Me"

Grades K through 4th

1st Place

 

Kennedy School, Succasunna

 

(2nd grader Emily Feld)

 

Mrs. Nancy Sekella

2nd Place

 

Saint Catherine's School, Spring Lake

 

(3rd grader Shannon Peropat)

 

Mrs. Maguire

3rd Place

 

Huber Street School, Secaucus

 

(2nd grader Robert Critelli)

 

Mrs. Leppin

 

Grades 5 through 8th

1st Place

 

Oratory Preparatory School, Summit

 

(7 th grader PJ Olsinski)

 

Mrs. Irene Crum

2nd Place

 

St. Stanislaus Kostka School, Sayreville

 

(7th grader Richard Rocha)

 

Mrs. Kathleen Pascarello

3rd Place

 

Bret Harte School, Cherry Hill

 

(5 th grader Cara Berkowitz)

 

Ms. McEvoy

 

Grades 9 through 12th

1st Place

 

Cherry Hill High School East, Cherry Hill

 

(12th grader Courtney Cox)

 

Ms. Elizabeth Mancini

2nd Place

 

Fort Lee High School, Fort Lee

 

(11th grader Theodora Guliadis)

 

Mr. John Donnangelo

3rd Place   Kittatinny Regional High School, Newton   (12th grader Nicole Woersching)   Mrs. Radulic

 

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