As director of the NJ Tree Foundation (NJTF), Lisa Simms has been a driving force for planting trees and changing lives in NJ’s most under-served communities. Under Lisa’s leadership, the NJTF has been responsible for the planting over 153,000 trees since its creation and developing programs that educate, motivate and bring people together under a common banner – tree planting and improving the environment.
“It’s because of Lisa’s exceptional leadership that we are able to make a difference in cities like Newark and Camden,” says NJTF Project Coordinator Shannon Schaaf. Camden resident Sheila Roberts recalls her first experience with Lisa in 2000, “After I met Lisa, I started to see that trees could bring our communities back to life. It was amazing.” Lisa has engaged and inspired thousands through her annual Celebrate Arbor Day program, created a 11-acre Grove of Remembrance for NJ victims of 9/11 at Liberty State Park, and developed the Green Streets program to plant trees and provide jobs to individuals in transition. Lisa continues to create, seek and recognize opportunities that allow the Foundation to further its mission. Her dedication to urban and community-driven forestry are an inspiration to all who work with her.