NJ Tree Foundation Celebrates Opening Day for The Circuit

April 8, 2017Camden, NJ – Today, Saturday, April 8th, the NJ Tree Foundation is celebrating the official season opening of the Circuit and we ask you to join us! Did you know the Circuit is one of America’s largest trail networks and it runs through your backyard? There are several trails in Camden connecting to Philadelphia and beyond.

Spring is a great time to walk, jog, or bike #OnTheCircuit and admire blossoming trees. Over the past three years, the NJ Tree Foundation has planted over 100 new trees along the Circuit in Camden through our Trees for Trails project funded by the William Penn Foundation. Trees including Eastern redbuds, ornamental cherries, red maples, Princeton American elms, and zelkovas can be found gracing the trails, ready to be enjoyed by you! Use our “Trees Along the Camden Greenway” booklet as a Camden guide to find trees we planted along the Circuit and special Circuit destinations, like the old growth forest in Farnham Park. Visit the Circuit Trails Map to find existing, in progress, and planned trails throughout Camden and the greater Philadelphia region.

And, if you want to cross the bridge today, head over to Penn Treaty Park where there is an attempt to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the longest fist-bump relay! We’ll see you #OnTheCircuit this spring.

 

Volunteer Tree Planting Events Kick Off in Newark

April 7, 2017Newark, NJ – The NJ Tree Foundation kicks off its volunteer-led tree planting season today, Friday April 7th, with an event in Newark that will plant 39 trees at the Oliver Street School. Volunteers from the school and community will come together to plant seedless sweetgum, tree lilac, and hedge maple trees to beautify the school.

The NJ Tree Foundation will be joined by Senator Teresa Ruiz, Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor-Marin, Councilman Amador, Joseph Della Fave, Executive Director of the Ironbound Community Corporation, Dr. Douglas Petty, principal of Oliver St. School, Nathaly Agosto Filion of the City of Newark, and Charlie McKenna from the NJ School Development Authority. Program Director Elena López of the NJ Tree Foundation will lead a tree planting demonstration immediately following the speakers.

Elena López, from the NJ Tree Foundation, explains, “Planting trees together with the students, parents, and teachers at Oliver Street School makes the community unite with a sense of pride and ownership through this transformative project.”

After the trees are planted the school will assume responsibility for their care. School volunteers will water the trees weekly throughout the summer, with more students getting involved in the fall and beyond.

Trees for 2017

To everyone who has donated – Thank you! We are so grateful for your support! If you have not already sent a gift, please join the dozens of folks who will help plant trees in 2017.

With your gift we can reforest city streets, plant trees in urban parks, provide fruit trees to community and backyard gardeners, supply city residents with tools and educational materials to maintain their trees, and more! There are a few hours left to make a tax-deductible donation in 2016. Please contribute.

With your help in 2016 we planted 1,322 trees, beautifying city streets and parks and improving neighborhoods across the state. We made lasting, happy memories with hundreds of volunteers and shared success and joy with people like Yvonne, Marion, and Kaushire. Please help us build on last year’s successes.

Trees beautify our communities, bring happiness to city residents, improve air and water quality, and offer habitat and food for our furry and feathered friends. You can make a difference with trees by donating to the NJ Tree Foundation today. Your support is greatly appreciated and will benefit New Jersey and its residents for years to come.

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Sincerely,
Lisa Simms
Executive Director
NJ Tree Foundation
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Give Back on #GivingTuesday!

water-tree-girlYou can help us start strong in 2017 by making a donation today for #GivingTuesday, the international day of giving!

 

Planting trees in urban communities and throughout New Jersey takes a team effort. Volunteers work hard to help us plant hundreds of trees each year. Tree recipients provide loving care to help us achieve a 95% tree survival rate. That’s right, 95% of our trees survive. They grow. They thrive. They make a positive impact on people and communities every day, today and for years to come.

 

Our team also includes people like you, who provide generous donations so we can continue the important work of improving New Jersey’s environment and quality of life for all of us by planting trees. Your contribution to this effort is greatly appreciated and will help us reach our goal of raising $10,000 by the end of 2016.

 

Thank you for your generosity!
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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at the NJ Tree Foundation! We are thankful for more than 1,000 new trees we planted in 2016, all the volunteers and generous donors who helped us plant those trees, and the very happy memories that were made in the process! Our tree recipients are incredibly thankful too, including these cute 5th graders from the Evergreen School in Plainfield where we planted 15 trees in October.

 

NJ Tree Foundation on Comcast Newsmakers: 6/22/16

NJ Tree Foundation Senior Program Director Jessica Franzini spoke with Jill Horner of Comcast Newsmakers on June 22, 2016. They talked about why we plant trees in urban communities, our milestone of planting 6,000 trees in Camden, our green infrastructure work, and more. Enjoy the video.

NJ Tree Foundation Receives $60,000 Grant from MKM Foundation

June 6, 2016 – Camden, NJ – On June 6, 2016 the NJ Tree Foundation received a three-year, $60,000 grant from the MKM Foundation to plant trees in the City of Camden. This generous donation will be paid in $20,000 per year increments in June of 2016, 2017, and 2018. This funding will be used to beautify neighborhoods throughout the city. The MKM Foundation grant will support the NJ Tree Foundation’s Urban Airshed Reforestation Program, which works with Camden residents, schools, and community organizations to implement community-based tree-planting events.36th st

“This grant is very exciting for us, as it allows us to plant trees anywhere in Camden where there is a need,” explains NJ Tree Foundation Senior Program Director Jessica Franzini, “I have a waiting list of high-impact projects. Some of them have been on the waiting list for over a year and will now be implemented with the MKM Foundation funding.”

The NJ Tree Foundation’s Urban Airshed Reforestation Program has planted trees in Camden since 2002. So far, 6,076 trees have been planted. The MKM Foundation grant of $60,000 will allow many more Camden residents to receive trees over the next three years, increasing quality of life and contributing to a more livable city.

Pictured top left: New trees planted in 2016 line N. 36th Street in East Camden, taken by The Darling Light Photography

NJ Tree Foundation’s Renaissance Trees Program Celebrates 10 Years

May 23, 2016Newark, New Jersey – This spring, the NJ Tree Foundation’s Renaissance Trees Program is hitting a milestone: ten years of planting trees in Newark. The Program began in 2006 to reforest New Jersey’s brick city. The NJ Tree Foundation celebrated the ten year anniversary of the Newark Renaissance Trees Program, and Newark’s 350th anniversary, by planting 16 trees and 350 edible plants at the Garden of Hope on Saturday May 21st.

may21planting-41“We have great partners that helped us celebrate our 10 year anniversary,” explains Elena López, Program Director for the NJ Tree Foundation. “Prudential brought about 20 employee volunteers and donated 350 edible plants. Newark SAS and other partners will take care of the trees long term.”

The NJ Tree Foundation’s Renaissance Trees Program has planted more than 2,400 trees in Newark to date and removed more than 20,300 square feet of concrete to plant those trees. Saturday’s planting included removing 176 square feet of concrete. Removing concrete and planting trees improves watershed health and reduces the stormwater burden on Newark’s combined sewer system. It is estimated that the new tree pits alone will allow 8,250 gallons of stormwater to filter naturally on an annual basis rather than become polluted runoff.

“Trees are a great solution to many urban environmental problems,” López notes, “They reduce stormwater runoff, clean the air, shade homes to reduce cooling bills, and bring beauty to neighborhoods. Two of the trees planted at the Garden of Hope are fruit trees, which have the added benefit of creating new, local sources for fresh and affordable produce.”

 Newark residents and visitors are now able to enjoy the 16 new trees planted to celebrate the Renaissance Trees Program’s 10 year anniversary, and very soon the community gardeners at the Garden of Hope will harvest the bounty of the 350 edible plants that went in the ground. The shade and fruit trees are expected to live for decades, benefiting people today and future generations as part of the Newark 350 Gives legacy.

NJ Tree Foundation hosts 60-fruit tree giveaway in Camden

May 11, 2016, Camden, NJfruit tree 1The rain on Saturday May 7th did not stop 22 community and backyard gardeners from picking up 60 fruit trees from the NJ Tree Foundation. Pear, apple, plum, and apricot trees were disbursed to be planted throughout Camden as part of a grant the NJ Tree Foundation received from the Campbell Soup Foundation.

“Camden residents have limited options to obtain affordable, fresh produce within city limits. This project is creating new food access points for residents while empowering them to grow their own food,” said Jessica Franzini, Senior Program Director for the NJ Tree Foundation. Franzini led the giveaway on Saturday. She taught gardeners about fruit tree planting and care and provided tools, mulch, and educational materials to each garden so they could properly care for their trees. Franzini noted, “I will keep in touch with the gardeners over the summer and we will have a Harvest Party in the fall to share lessons from the season. Some gardeners have never grown fruit before. We want them to have a positive experience.”

The event was held at the Vietnamese Community Garden in East Camden, which received six fruit trees. Lan Dinh of VietLead, who works in the garden, explained, “This is an intergenerational and multiracial garden of Vietnamese elders and youth of various backgrounds and ethnicities. Our new fruit trees, which include Asian pears, apples, and apricots, will offer diversity to our garden and help feed the families who rely on this garden for fresh food.”

fruit tree 3Most gardens received one to three fruit trees. The Yorkship School obtained the most, with 15 teachers taking 10 fruit trees for their school garden. The teachers planted the trees in the afternoon after picking them up in the morning with help from Pacesetters of South Jersey. Students will care for the trees and enjoy the fruit. The Yorkship School is registered with Sustainable Jersey for Schools and two of their teachers completed free NJ Tree Foundation tree care workshops to become Certified TreeKeepers.

Pastor Odessa Edmond, of the Whitman Park neighborhood, picked up two fruit trees. “Our church waited two years for our fruit trees. The families at our church will benefit from this harvest for years to come,” the Pastor explained.

In total, 22 community and backyard gardens benefited from the project in neighborhoods such as East Camden, Cramer Hill, North Camden, Lanning Square, Morgan Village, Whitman Park, and Cooper Grant. All fruit trees were gone by early afternoon but that did not stop more Camden residents from coming to see how they could get a fruit tree.

Franzini mentioned, “The NJ Tree Foundation had a waiting list for fruit trees before this event and now we have another one. We hope to hold an event like this next spring, as it was such a success.”

All tree species provided are semi-dwarfing, self-pollinating trees from HopeWell Nursery in Bridgeton. The NJ Tree Foundation and nursery staff worked together to pick species that will survive well in urban environments. The NJ Tree Foundation thanks the Campbell Soup Foundation for their support which made this event possible.

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#NewarkGives: Thank you for your contributions!

May 4, 2016 – Newark, New Jersey –newark yay On Tuesday May 3rd, the Newark community and beyond united to celebrate Newark’s 350th anniversary by donating to the city they love. Newark Celebration 350 hosted the online giving event which raised funds for four legacy projects. The NJ Tree Foundation’s legacy project is planting 350 trees in Newark!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our legacy project. #NewarkGives had so much interest that it broke the internet! The giving server crashed and donations could not be accepted for several hours. If you tried but were unable to donate to the legacy gift of planting 350 trees in Newark, please donate directly to the NJ Tree Foundation. Write “Newark350Gives” in the box that asks “Where do you want your donation to go?” Your contribution will help us leave a legacy of 350 new trees in Newark, trees that will be enjoyed by generations to come!