to Plant 1,500 Trees in City of Paterson:
DEP & BPU Launch Second Phase of Cool Cities: an Urban
Forest Energy Efficiency Initiative
(03/162) TRENTON - Advancing
Governor McGreevey's goal to plant 100,000 new trees across
New Jersey, state Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP) Commissioner Bradley Campbell and Board of Public
Utilities (BPU) President Jeanne Fox today joined local
students, the city of Paterson and the New Jersey Tree Foundation
to plant the first 62 of 1,500 shade trees in Paterson,
launching the second phase of a new, statewide urban forest
energy efficiency initiative - Cool Cities.
"Out of New Jersey's 10 most populous
cities, Paterson has the lowest percentage of shade tree
cover depriving its residents of real environmental, aesthetic
and cost saving benefits that are afforded by a healthy
urban forest," said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell.
"By planting trees in urban areas like Paterson, we
can absorb more air pollution, significantly cool elevated
temperatures in cities, lower energy costs and improve urban
communities' overall quality of life."
To reap the environmental, health and economic
benefits of urban trees, DEP and BPU launched Cool Cities
to green New Jersey's large cities through tree planting
efforts that will help reduce the demand for electricity
and lower energy consumption. Cool Cities is funded by BPU's
Clean Energy Program. BPU has committed to $2 million in
funding for the initial phase of Cool Cities, planting 3,000
trees in Paterson and Trenton this year. The planting of
1,500 trees in Trenton is underway.
"The Urban Forest Energy Efficiency
Initiative is a smart investment in the quality of life
for city residents," said Jeanne M. Fox, President
of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. "That
is why the BPU New Jersey Clean Energy Program is committing
$2 million to plant 3,000 trees this year. Trees conserve
energy and help to make our cities attractive places to
live and work. They also reduce incoming solar radiation
by approximately 90 percent and through the absorption of
sunlight energy, evaporation, and a reduction in heat-trapping
air pollutants - trees will help reduce the heat effect
on city streets during the summer."
The New Jersey Tree Foundation, volunteers
and students from Public School #21 and Public School #28
helped plant approximately 62 Pioneer Elm and Littleleaf
Linden shade trees in the area of Presidential Blvd. and
Temple Street. The remaining trees will be planted in throughout
the 1st, 4th and 5th wards of the city.
"Governor McGreevey is fulfilling
his promise to make our urban communities cleaner, more
pleasant, and more affordable places to live," said
city of Paterson Major Jose Torres. "The trees will
benefit Paterson's environment and provide years of enjoyment
and shade for our residents. As mayor, I'm urging residents
to adopt a tree and nurture it for the future."
The remaining three of five targeted Cool
Cities are being identified for tree planting and will be
announced upon implementation.
Temperatures in urban settings are often
five degrees above surrounding suburbs and rural areas,
which is referred to as the 'urban heat island' effect,
and trees can help lower these urban temperatures by as
much as six to nineteen degrees. This increase in temperature
is bad for many urban residents' health. Hotter weather
increases the frequency of heat-related health problems,
such as heat exhaustion, and induces more asthma attacks,
as the heat concentrates air pollution and speeds up smog
formation. In addition, higher temperatures result in more
expensive utility bills as residents run their air conditioners
In addition to providing shade from the
sun, trees cool the air by excreting droplets of water that
draw heat as they evaporate, which is a process called "evapotranspiration."
Trees also absorb sound, prevent erosion and provide habitats
for birds and animals. Their leaves help improve air quality
by absorbing noxious gases and trapping particulate matter
from the air. Trees also help filter and clean water supplies,
reduce water runoff, flooding, erosion and storm water management
costs. Trees make towns more attractive to business and
tourism, transforming a neighborhood's appearance and increasing
home market value, as they bring nature closer to where
we live and work.