On Saturday, April 8, 2017 the NJ Forest Service Community Forestry Program, Rutgers Urban Forestry Propgram & the NJ Tree Foundation will offer Core Training! CORE training will familiarize individuals with the background of community forestry and shade tree commissions, the legal aspects of managing trees and the recognition of hazardous tree situations; to enable individuals to help municipalities and counties gain approved municipal status; and a discussion of tree inventory, planting and maintenance issues. Core training is for:
*Persons participating in Shade Tree Commissions, local tree boards, or groups designated by the Mayor as the responsible party for community trees
*Any municipal or county representative or employee charged with the mission of providing maintenance or stewardship to community trees
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.
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.
Sometimes our Green Streets Program hires guys that really stand out. Kaushire, who worked with me this past spring and summer, is one of them.
Our Green Streets Program trains men under parole supervision to plant trees and complete green infrastructure work, like installing rain gardens. Most of these men simply need a second chance. They got wrapped up in the wrong things and need a job to support themselves and their families in a respectable way. Kaushire was no different. He has a son to support. He made a few mistakes while trying to earn money. But now, he has turned his life around.
Kaushire worked with us until the end of July when our season wrapped up. A warehouse hired Kaushire for part-time employment right after he finished with us. I was happy when he told me recently the warehouse had hired him permanent full-time. He is such a hard worker! You might have seen him smiling and laughing while he was moving concrete or mulch, planting trees, or installing a rain garden in your town.
When asked about his time with the Tree Foundation, Kaushire says, “I’m lucky. My crew got to work from end of March to the end of July. We planted trees. Lots of them! We worked hard. I liked pruning the trees. It’s like a haircut for trees. I’m so blessed to work for the Tree Foundation. Best experience of my life.”
Please help us provide more green job opportunities for guys like Kaushire. There are only a few days left to make a tax-deductible donation in 2016. With your support, we can plant more trees and offer a stepping-stone for men who deserve a second chance.
James Cunningham aka “Famous James”
Urban Forestry Technician & Green Streets Crew Supervisor
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.
I first met the residents of Montrose Street in Newark (pictured above) in June 2016. Before Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, they had magnificent 100-year-old oaks lining their street. After the storms, they lost all but three of their beloved trees. They told me the summers were significantly hotter without shade. The peaceful aura of nature was lost. The void left behind was evident.
The Montrose Street residents were overjoyed to begin working with the NJ Tree Foundation’s Renaissance Trees Program, which helps city residents like them plant trees to improve their environment and quality of life. I worked with the Montrose Street neighbors for months to plan their tree planting event.
On November 5th, each and every resident on Montrose Street helped plant 29 trees, with every single eligible household accepting one or two trees in front of their home! “Montrose Street was blessed with a fabulous tree planting day. We planted 29 trees and we are ready to do it again,” exclaimed Yvonne, who received two trees and helped organize the planting. She continued, “It was truly phenomenal. It really united our block under something positive.”
Together, we planted beautiful ornamental cherries and Shantung maple trees that will grow along with the children and families of Montrose Street. The trees are being enjoyed today and will be enjoyed for generations to come.
“It’s amazing that you’re out here doing this work,” explained Egypt, a Camden resident, as the NJ Tree Foundation pruned dead-wood from her street tree. “The work is so good for our neighborhood. It makes the trees healthier and reminds the community how important tree care is. We all need to do our part.”
To make this work possible, the NJ Tree Foundation added a new summer staff member – Camden resident Michael Taylor, a graduate of the Camden PowerCorps program. “It’s exciting to hire from the PowerCorps work force. Mike is awesome, and he will be a great addition to our team,” says Jessica Franzini, Senior Program Director of the NJ Tree Foundation.
“Tree care may not be “sexy,” but it’s essential,” explains Lisa Simms, Executive Director of the NJ Tree Foundation. “It’s an integral part of good urban forest management.”
Want to hire the NJ Tree Foundation to work in your town? Please contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
“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
May 4, 2016 – Newark, New Jersey – 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!
May 3, 2016 – Newark, NJ – The Newark 350 Gives giving day is here! The NJ Tree Foundation and Newark community unite today, Tuesday May 3rd, for a special 24-hour online giving campaign in celebration of Newark’s 350th anniversary.Your donation will help us plant 350 trees in Newark! Any donation large or small will help.
April 29, 2016 – New Jersey – On Friday, April 29th, the NJ Tree Foundation and tree lovers across New Jersey and the country are celebrating Arbor Day! Arbor Day celebrates trees by encouraging tree planting and tree care. What are you doing to celebrate Arbor Day? Our recommendations are:
1) Plant a tree. Make sure you follow the right tree, right place, right way mantra!
2) Care for a tree. Pull weeds surrounding the tree and lay fresh mulch around the tree, leaving a 2 inch gap around the base of the tree.
3) Donate to Newark 350 Gives! The NJ Tree Foundation will plant 350 trees with funding from Newark 35o Gives. If you can’t plant a tree yourself this Arbor Day, donate to help one be planted in the future. Learn more about Newark 350 Gives by visiting their website.
The NJ Tree Foundation will join the New Jersey Forest Service and others to celebrate Arbor Day at Veterans Memorial Park in Parsippany, NJ. A ceremony will be held to commemorate the 67th New Jersey State Arbor Day Celebration.