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.

Help Us Plant Trees this Spring

Hey volunteers! Are you ready to get outside, dig in the dirt, and help beautify urban communities with trees? We are, and we hope you’ll join us! This spring, the NJ Tree Foundation has a full schedule of exciting community tree planting events in Camden, Newark, and Gloucester City. We’re looking for dedicated volunteers like you to help make these events possible.

In Camden, we’re co-hosting the State Arbor Day Tree Planting on Friday, April 28th. We’re also hosting a large 90-tree event on Saturday, May 6th at the old waterfront prison site, soon to be known as Cooper’s Poynt Waterfront Park. These two events need volunteers.

In Newark, we have 10 tree planting events scheduled all over Brick City! Don’t miss out on the fun as we work with the City of Newark, residents, and community organizations to make a difference through tree planting.

In Gloucester City, we’re hosting our first-ever community tree planting event on Earth Day – Saturday, April 22nd! Join us as we plant trees along the 900 block of Monmouth Street with residents, the local Green Team, and the Tree Committee.

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” – Today’s Snapple Cap

News from Jessica at the NJ Tree Foundation

Dear Volunteers, Tree Recipients, & Supporters,

After eight truly amazing years with the NJ Tree Foundation, I’m embarking on a new adventure. On March 28th, I will start working for Camden Lutheran Housing and the Block Supporter Initiative in North Camden.

The NJ Tree Foundation will ensure a smooth transition as they continue their great work in Camden and Gloucester City. Their job posting is available online. Please feel free to share!

In April and May, I will be at the NJ Tree Foundation’s spring planting events and invite you to volunteer with me one last time! On Saturday, April 22nd, we’re partnering with Gloucester City to plant 35 trees for Earth Day! On Friday, April 28th, we are partnering with the State and the City of Camden to plant 10 trees for Arbor Day. On Saturday, May 6th, we are partnering with the City of Camden, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership,
and North Camden stakeholders to plant 90 trees at the old waterfront prison site in North Camden. To help out, simply email me at jfranzini@njtreefoundation.org.

The dedication of our community partners, including Camden residents, has inspired me in more ways than you know. It has been a genuine pleasure working with you over the past eight years – planting trees along your streets, revitalizing your parks, and adding fruit trees to your community gardens. THANK YOU for helping me realize the true transformative power of tree planting and urban greening! I look forward to continuing to serve the Camden community through my new role with Camden Lutheran Housing.

Working for the NJ Tree Foundation has been one of my life’s greatest experiences. I will always look back on these years with a huge smile and a warm heart.

With thanks,
Jessica Franzini
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A Note from NJTF Board and Staff
While we are sad that Jessica is moving on, we celebrate the accomplishments of her amazing body of work. Eight years, over 3,000 trees planted, several greening projects implemented and hundreds of new friends! Her passionate dedication to the NJ Tree Foundation and the world of urban forestry will be greatly missed. Jess has been an amazing team member and has strengthened and expanded the Tree Foundation’s Camden program immensely. We look forward to partnering with Jess on future projects, and wish her the absolute best in both her personal and professional endeavors.

Thank you for your dedication & friendship Jess!

~NJ Tree Foundation Board of Trustees & Staff

City Trees Available: Camden, Gloucester, and Newark

In Camden, Gloucester City, and Newark, the NJ Tree Foundation is accepting applications from planting partners who want 12-15′ tall trees for their residential streets, school yards, parks, or open spaces this spring. Supply is limited, and we recommend applying by February 3rd to receive priority. You could be our next community project!

“Working with the NJ Tree Foundation was incredible. Not only did I get trees for the front of my home, but most of my neighbors got involved and planted trees too. The entire process introduced me to people in my own community
and made me feel really proud to be a part of something exciting happening where I live,” explained Kathy of East Camden after her 2011 tree planting.

Open Applications Include:
Newark Application 
Camden and Gloucester City Application
Camden Fruit Tree Application (Gardeners Only)

If you have questions or want to discuss your project before applying, please reach out to Jessica (for Camden and Gloucester City) or Elena (for Newark). Jessica can be reached at jfranzini@njtreefoundation.org or (856) 287-4488 and Elena can be reached at elopez@njtreefoundation.org or (609) 439-1755.

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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Trees “Rise Up” in Camden

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Marion and her grandmother Shiela

I have met many wonderful people while planting trees in Camden over the past eight years, and 17-year-old Marion is one of them. She wasn’t even a teenager when I first met her. I’ve seen her grow up planting trees and tending gardens in one of America’s toughest cities.

In 2012, Marion and I planted a willow tree with her family and neighbors at a newly-established community garden. The lot was completely barren at the time, and we planted the willow in tough, abandoned soil. The tree, in Marion’s words, “turned a deserted lot into an oasis of peace and hope in Camden.” She sees the willow as a metaphor for life – that beauty can grow from hardship and that hope can inspire an entire community to “rise up.” Marion wrote a poem inspired by the tree. The beloved willow won a regional “Tree of the Year” award after Marion and her grandmother entered the poem and a picture of the willow in a 2016 contest.

“Our community members fight poverty every day, yet the willow tree remains a peaceful place in our community, helping our residents see the importance of our urban canopy,” Marion’s poem states. It ends, “The willow tree represents a place of peace and calmness as the birds chirp, butterflies fly and the branches cascade around you as if to give you a hug or maybe even protect you.”

The NJ Tree Foundation works year-round to transform urban communities by planting trees. Marion’s neighborhood is a testament to the impressive transformation that can occur from a single tree. I hope that you will support the NJ Tree Foundation in reaching our goal of raising $10,000 by the end of December. Together, we can make neighborhoods rise up with trees.

Thank you,donate-button-jpeg
Jessica Franzini
Senior Program Director
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Marion’s “Tree of Hope” when first planted in 2012…
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…and thriving in 2016

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.

 

Local CrossFit Gyms Support Tree Planting

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The NJ Tree Foundation is proud to announce that Crossfit Aspire and CrossFit DT1, two gyms located in Cherry Hill, have collectively raised over $1,000 to benefit the NJ Tree Foundation’s Urban Airshed Reforestation Program. This program, focused heavily on the city of Camden, plants trees to improve the environment and quality of life in inner-city neighborhoods. Pictured above are coaches Justin, Alycia, Matt, and Sharon, on the bikes used to raise money for trees during the July Charity Challenge.

“CrossFit is an amazing sport,” says Jessica Franzini, who works for the NJ Tree Foundation and does CrossFit. “These gyms care about their members – and not just about their fitness, health, and nutrition, but also about the charities that matter to them.” Aspire and DT1’s generous donation will be used to support street tree and fruit tree plantings in Camden this year, bringing clean air and healthy food to the urban communities that need it most.

Interested in CrossFit? Visit CrossFit Aspire or CrossFit DT1 online or try a FREE class at gym at one of their Cherry Hill locations. This sport is good for people of all ages, sizes, and abilities.

photo-42 copyA tree-lined street in North Camden

FullSizeRender-7Peaches grown and harvested by Camden residents