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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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news releases

April 24, 2009

Contact: Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994


(09/P7) TRENTON - The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Community Forestry Program, the New Jersey Community Forestry Council and the New Jersey Tree Foundation today celebrated Arbor Day by planting 187 large shade trees, evergreens and a variety of shrubs at four local parks in Tewksbury Township, Hunterdon County.

“Trees play an important role in making our communities a better place to live,” DEP Acting Commissioner Mark N. Mauriello said. “Planting trees reduces the erosion of our topsoil caused by wind and water, cleans the air we breathe and the water we drink, provides habitat for birds and wildlife and reduces heating and cooling costs by moderating temperature.”

More than 200 volunteers participated in the Arbor Day festivities by planting 187 shade trees, evergreens and a variety of shrubs at four park locations: Christie Hoffman Park, Fairmount Park North, Pascale Park and Oldwicks Field. More than 14 different species of trees were planted including Red Maple, Sugar Maple, River Birch, Hackberry, Flowering Dogwood, Green Ash, Swamp White Oak, Bur Oak, Pin Oak, Northern Red Oak, Scarlet Oak, Arrowwood Viburnum, Northern Bayberry and Colorado Blue Spruce.

The DEP presented Tree City USA awards to communities marking their 30th, 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 13 first place winners of the Arbor Day art contest for students.

The recipients of the Joyce Kilmer Award this year are Miriam “Teddy” and Tom Murphy, who were recognized for their many years of dedication to trees and the environment.

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, Tree City USA awards recognize cities, counties and military bases that have developed a comprehensive tree management program. In New Jersey, 156 communities have earned Tree City USA status – the largest number in the Northeast.

The New Jersey Forest Service’s Community Forestry Program facilitates the development of state-approved Community Forestry Management Plans in municipalities, counties and military bases across the Garden State. These plans prioritize a five-year schedule of community forestry management activities and work toward liability protection for the community.

Today’s celebration was made possible through the assistance and cooperation of many partners, supporters and volunteers who promote the efforts of the New Jersey Forest Service Community Forestry Program. 

The DEP has been promoting Arbor Day statewide since 1949, when the New Jersey Legislature designated the last Friday in April as the official day to honor trees and the people who take care of them.

Tree City USA Anniversary Awards for Arbor Day 2009
30th Year Dover Town, Morris County
Medford Township, Burlington County
Millburn Township, Essex County
West Windsor Township, Mercer County
20th Year Branchville Borough, Sussex County
Leonia Borough, Bergen County
Middlesex Borough, Middlesex County
Ridgefield Park Village, Bergen County
Stafford Township, Ocean County
Wood-Ridge Borough, Bergen County
1st Year Clementon Borough, Camden County
Delanco Township, Burlington County
Franklin Lakes Borough, Bergen County
Gloucester City, Gloucester County
Holmdel Township, Monmouth County
Lumberton Township, Burlington County
Marlboro Township, Monmouth County
Pompton Lakes Borough, Passaic County
Stanhope Borough, Sussex County

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

NJ Statewide Student Arbor Day Art Contest 1st Place Winners
Kindergarten Sophie Gao Cornerstone Christian School, East Brunswick
Grade 1 Kenneth Shen Woodbrook Elementary School, Edison
Grade 2 Chris Xu Woodbrook Elementary School, Edison
Grade 3 Carolyn Hua Bartle Elementary School, Highland
Grade 4 Jessalyn Lu Chittick School, East Brunswick
Grade 5 Aishee Bag Woodbrook Elementary School, Edison
Grade 6 Nicole Jarck Forestdale School, Rumson
Grade 7 Tiffany Liou Hammarskjold Middle School, East Brunswick
Grade 8 Gopi Patel Crossroads North School, Monmouth Junction
Grade 9 Hope Riccio Atlantic County Special Education, Mays Landing
Grade 10 Olivia Woo Northern Valley Regional, Old Tappan
Grade 11 Hirah Park Ridgefield Park High School, Ridgefield Park
Grade 12 Daryl Keese Liberty High School, Jersey City



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Last Updated: April 27, 2009