April 8, 2017 – Camden, 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.
April 7, 2017 – Newark, 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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
The New Jersey Tree Foundation and Public Service Electric & Gas are offering a FREE seminar on planting the Right Tree in the Right Place, the Right Way on Friday, March 31st at the Hopewell Municipal Complex, 201 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, Titusville, NJ. Please RSVP by Friday, March 24, 2017 to Lisa Simms LSimms@NJTreeFoundation.org
Emerald Ash Borer – It’s here! The latest news on this bad bug.
Planting the right tree, in the right place, the right way – Green end up.
The importance of utility mark-outs prior to planting – Do you smell gas?
Vegetation management policies to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of electric service – Who turned off the lights?
NEW!Hopewell Valley Arts Council ash tree re-use – Got Ash?
Who should attend? Mayors, Freeholders, DPW Supervisors, Environmental & Shade Tree Commissioners, County Officials and any other interested parties. Space is limited. First-come, first-served.
Date: Friday, March 31, 2017
Time: Registration begins at 8:00 am. Program starts promptly at 8:30 am and runs until 12:30 pm.
Place: Hopewell Municipal Complex Auditorium, 201 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, Titusville, NJ
A continental breakfast will be served.
This seminar is worth three (3) Continuing Education Units for towns with a 5-year Community Forestry Management Plan. “Right-Tree, Right-Place” is approved by the ISA for 3 (three) Arborist certification renewal credits and for 3 Public Works CEUs.
Please RSVP by Friday, March 24th to LSimms@njtreefoundation.orgIf you would like send a representative(s), please include their names and contact information (email address).
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.