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.

 

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

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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Green Jobs: “A haircut for trees”

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.

Kaushire hauling soil

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.

Thank you,
James Cunningham aka “Famous James”donate-button-jpeg
Urban Forestry Technician & Green Streets Crew Supervisor
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Me, Karon, and Kaushire after planting a rain garden in Newark

40,000 FREE Trees & Shrubs for Spring 2017!

This program has closed. Thank you for your interest!
The NJ Tree Foundation, in partnership with Treecycler, is offering 40,000 tree & shrub saplings for free! Trees & shrubs may be used for reforestation, stream bank restoration, etc.
  • Trees & shrubs must be ordered in packs of 50 (one packet). Minimum order is 500 trees/shrubs or 10 packets.
  • A simple, one-page final report and photographs (before & after) of the tree planting will be required.
  • The NJ Tree Foundation requests that you publicize your tree planting on social media (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram) and regular media.
  • Trees must be picked up from one of the locations listed. You may pick up your order from the Jackson location at any time. Simply call ahead first.
  • Trees must be planted and not given away.

Free Tree Shrub Application

Questions? Email Lisa Simms, lsimms@njtreefoundation.org


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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

Trees Thriving with Good Maintenance

“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.”

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This summer, the NJ Tree Foundation will do tree pit maintenance and dead-wood pruning on hundreds of street trees in North Camden, thanks to a partnership with Camden Lutheran Housing and a generous Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit grant.

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 lsimms@njtreefoundation.org.

Camden Tree Wins Regional Photo Contest

The NJ Tree Foundation is proud to congratulate Camden resident Sheila Roberts and her tree of hope for winning this year’s regional Plant One Million photo contest! Competing with entries from 13 counties and 3 states (NJ, PA, and DE), Sheila submitted a photo and essay describing a tree that she and the NJ Tree Foundation planted five years ago as part of the Urban Airshed Reforestation Program.

Sheila wrote, “The willow tree is a symbol of hope for tomorrow. The garden represents a space full of spirituality and dreaming. Peace and relaxation; a silent place to sit while contemplating and relaxing and a place where neighbors come to pray and meditate; to get away from the dangerous streets in the urban ghetto of Camden. The willow tree represents new life for the community, throughout development and change. This tree marks the awakening of Camden in the midst of an urban tree canopy we long awaited in a neighborhood with the potential to be greater than anyone ever expected. Our community members fight poverty every day, yet the willow tree remains a peaceful place in our community, helping our residents to see the importance of our urban canopy.”

 

DSC01428Tree of Hope at Cooper Sprouts Garden, Camden
Sheila Roberts joined by her family and neighbors

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.