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April 28, 2006

Contact: Elaine Makatura
(609) 292-2994

Governor Corzine and DEP Recognize Students and Local Tree Care Programs at State Arbor Day Celebration in Paramus

(06/31) TRENTON -- Governor Jon S. Corzine today joined Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson and representatives of the DEP's Community Forestry Program, the New Jersey Community Forestry Council and the New Jersey Tree Foundation to celebrate Arbor Day by planting 80 large shade trees and 300 shrubs and perennials at Paramus High School in Bergen County.

"Arbor Day offers us an opportunity to renew our commitment to planting and caring for trees in New Jersey so that our residents and future generations can appreciate the beauty and immeasurable value they bring to our lives," Governor Corzine said.

The trees and shrubs planted today are part of a $78,000 grass roots environmental project for Paramus High School funded by Westfield Corporation and United Kingdom-based Prudential plc, joint owners of Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus. Once completed, the land will feature walking trails, benches and vegetation to be used by the school and the Paramus community.

"We celebrate trees and honor the people who are devoted to their care for many good reasons," Commissioner Jackson said. "Trees significantly improve the quality of life in New Jersey's communities, particularly in our urban areas. Not only do they make our neighborhoods more attractive, trees keep our air cleaner and cooler, help filter pollutants before they reach our waterways and reduce noise and erosion."

More than 300 volunteers participated in the festivities by planting trees on a two-acre site at the school. The DEP presented Tree City USA awards to communities marking their 30th, 25th, 20th and 1st anniversaries and the prestigious Joyce Kilmer Award, which honors individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to New Jersey's community forests. The DEP also recognized the winners of the Arbor Day book contest for students.

Recipients of the Joyce Kilmer Award this year are William Comery, superintendent of the Paramus Shade Tree and Parks Commission and president of the New Jersey Shade Tree Federation, and Connie Wagner, Borough of Paramus Council member and educator.

Also attending the Arbor Day ceremony were communities representing the Tree City USA program. Sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters, the Tree City USA awards recognize cities, counties and military bases that have developed a comprehensive tree management program. In New Jersey, 145 communities have earned Tree City USA status - the largest number in the Northeast.


30th Year Paramus, Bergen County
Parsippanny-Troy Hills, Morris County

25th Year Englewood Cliffs, Bergen County
Cape May City, Cape May County
Atlantic Highlands, Monmouth County
Freehold Township, Monmouth County
Lakewood, Ocean County
Wayne, Passaic County

20th Year Evesham Township, Burlington County
Piscataway, Middlesex County

1st Year Emerson, Bergen County
Pequannock Township, Morris County
Millstone Boro, Somerset County
Millstone Township, Monmouth County

Hundreds of pieces of original artwork were entered into this year's statewide student Arbor Day book art contest. Following are this year's winners:


Kindergarten ~ Nathaniel Kidd, Cold Springs Elementary School, Gloucester City
Grade 1 ~ Annie Ruoff, Monmouth Beach School, Monmouth Beach
Grade 2 ~ Carlie Chimenti, Lanoka Harbor Elementary School, Lanoka Harbor
Grade 3 ~ Hope Avalone, Elms Elementary School, Jackson
Grade 4 ~ Hannah Lucas, Hope Township School, Hope
Grade 5 ~ Sierra Schwartz, Hillview Elementary School, Pompton Plains
Grade 6 ~ Danica Kuti, Lincoln Roosevelt School, Succasunna
Grade 7 ~ Calvin Cardillo, Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Garfield
Grade 8 ~ Julian Duque, Westminster Academy #26, Elizabeth
Grade 9 ~ Shayna Ramos, Perth Amboy High School, Perth Amboy
Grade 10 ~ Stacey Palmer, Perth Amboy High School, Perth Amboy
Grade 11 ~ Ricardo Bohorquez, Perth Amboy High School, Perth Amboy
Grade 12 ~ Dora Gonzales, Perth Amboy High School, Perth Amboy



NJDEP's Community Forestry Program



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Last Updated: May 3, 2006