CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION CELEBRATES STATE’S 66TH ARBOR DAY WITH
CEREMONY IN BURLINGTON COUNTY
TREE PLANTINGS, AWARDS PRESENTATIONS HIGHLIGHT EVENT AT WESLEY BISHOP
PARK IN MOORESTOWN
(15/P36) TRENTON – State Forestry Services within the Department of Environmental Protection today joined Moorestown Township and the New Jersey Community Forestry Council to celebrate Arbor Day with tree plantings and a special awards recognition ceremony in Moorestown’s Wesley Bishop Park.
“On this Arbor Day, we show our appreciation for the trees that clean our water and air, cool our cities, and make our streets more beautiful,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said. “Working with great partners such as Moorestown and other communities across the state helps to foster growth of healthy trees, which improves the quality of life for all New Jersey residents.”
To commemorate Arbor Day, volunteers from local schools and organizations planted a variety of tree species in the 22-acre park, including red maple, hardy rubber, shingle oak, linden, tree form snowbell, Japanese umbrella pine, maackia, and elm.
“Arbor Day is another opportunity to highlight the beauty of New Jersey’s protected open spaces, where numerous tree species provide shelter, shade and enjoyment for residents and visitors,” said Richard Boornazian, Assistant Commissioner of Natural and Historic Resources. “We will continue to care for these precious resources so that they can be enjoyed and appreciated for many generations to come.”
New Jersey has a great diversity of tree species which has helped grow the state’s forestry inventory as well as add to the lush landscapes throughout the Garden State.
“Many people would be surprised to learn that New Jersey, a densely populated state, is 42 percent forested,” said State Forestry Services Director Lynn Fleming. “Trees are a remarkable resource and it’s those, like the ones we planted today, that make a significant impact on the day-to-day lives of residents.”
During today’s ceremony, the DEP presented the prestigious Joyce Kilmer Award for outstanding contributions to community forests to Barry Emens of Riverton. Emens, a Burlington County Shade Tree Commission member and Community Forestry Council member, was integral to the bacterial leaf scorch research done in Moorestown from 2002 to 2004.
Fleming also presented the first Achievement in Forestry Award to Steven Chisholm of Jackson for his contributions to forestry in New Jersey by serving as chairperson for the Community Forestry Council for more than a decade.
In addition, awards were presented to 22 municipalities for their participation in the 2015 Tree City USA program.
First-time award recipient communities: Byram, Flemington, Lindenwold, Morristown and South Hackensack.
10-year award recipients: Bernards, Bound Brook, Brick, Emerson, Monroe (Gloucester County), Pequannock and Springfield (Union County).
15-year award recipients: Bloomfield, Cedar Grove, Chesterfield, Closter, East Windsor, Milltown, River Edge and Washington Borough (Warren County).
25-year award recipients: Eatontown and Moorestown.
The 2015 Tree Line USA award was presented to Atlantic City Electric, First Energy Corporation, PSE&G, and Orange & Rockland Utilities.
In addition to Arbor Day activities to celebrate New Jersey’s trees, an ongoing tree seedlings distribution campaign continues statewide through May 9.
The New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign, a partnership between the DEP’s State Forestry Services and the non-profit Arbor Day Foundation, is distributing some 130,000 free tree seedlings to New Jersey residents at 178 locations across the state.
To find a seedling distribution location in your community, visit the State Forestry Services Facebook page and website: www.facebook.com/newjerseyforests and www.forestry.nj.gov
New Jersey has celebrated Arbor Day since 1949, when the Legislature designated the last Friday in April to honor trees and the people who take care of them.
To learn more about New Jersey State Forestry Services, visit: www.forestry.nj.gov and like the agency’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/newjerseyforests.
For more information on Arbor Day, visit: www.arborday.org. For tree care tips, visit: www.treesaregood.com.