Welcome, Beth!

Tree folks – meet Beth Kwart! She is a new edition to the NJ Tree Foundation, and our first ever grant writer! With her knowledge, expertise, and exceptional writing skills, Beth will help raise funds for our community-based tree planting programs across the state. We are very excited to have her on board!

Prior to her work with the NJ Tree Foundation, Beth was a grant writer for the Center for Family Services in Camden. She is also an alumnus of the AmeriCorps VISTA program, a volunteer with the Surf Rider Foundation, and a graduate of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Check her out here, inventorying trees in Camden today!

Featured Story: Lori Braunstein

Words cannot say enough about the amazing Lori Braunstein, Founder of Sustainable Cherry Hill, who is one of Camden’s very best friends. From helping the city obtain certified status with Sustainable Jersey to volunteering with the Heart of Camden and the Tree Foundation, rest assured Lori is always somewhere making a difference. Well, this season she truly blew us away…

Lori (bottom left) turned a year older in October. To celebrate, she partnered with the NJ Tree Foundation to deliver a high-impact community greening project in the Bergen Square neighborhood of Camden. Lori asked her loved ones to donate to the project in lieu of a gift and/or volunteer their time to assist with implementation. On October 6th, over 50 of Lori’s closest friends and family joined us with shovels in hand.

Ana Agueda (top right), only a few years older than Lori, has lived in Camden for most of her life. Organizing back-to-school events, block parties, and the planting of hundreds of trees over the past 10 years, Ana is known as a leader in her community. To bring more greenery to her neighborhood, Ana applied for trees in the fall of 2012. Her dream was to line the 1100 block of S. 3rd Street, the 300 block of Kaighns Avenue, and the 200 block of Mt. Vernon Street with trees while also transforming a vacant lot into a pocket park for kids. On October 6th, with Lori’s volunteers ready to work, we let the games begin.

Three hours, that’s all it took. We planted 21 large trees spanning four city blocks, then focused our efforts on the pocket park. Covering grafetti with new paint, we worked with local youth to paint positive images on the walls surrounding this new green space. We installed a decorative wooden fence, planted roses and mums, and enjoyed the delicious BBQ grilling of Santana, the lovely man across the street. There was more love on the 1100 block of S. 3rd Street that day than Ana can remember in a long time. “We are just so thankful to Lori and these outstanding volunteers for seeing that we needed help and coming here to do something about it. The kids have nowhere to play here. Now they have these beautiful streets and this park. And we’ve only begun…”

Lori Braunstein, you are an inspiration. The fruits of your labor and kindness will be felt in Ana’s community for years to come. You have redefined what it means to be a volunteer, a donor, a supporter, an environmentalist. We are so grateful to call you a friend to NJTF and Camden!

To see photos from this event, please visit the Tree Foundation’s album or Lori’s album.

Invasive Species Workshops in South Jersey

Join the South Jersey Land and Water Trust for two upcoming Invasive Species ID Workshops! Held on September 8th and September 29th, these sessions are taking place in Cherry Hill through a partnership with the Cherry Hill Environmental Commission. Learn how to identify invasive species like Chinese bushclover, Japanese angelica tree, and poison hemlock while reporting them to the NJ Invasive Species Strike Team. For more info, check out this flyer!

First Class of Certified Newark TreeKeepers!

In June, the NJ Tree Foundation hosted its first-ever Newark TreeKeepers workshops! TreeKeepers is an educational extension of our Newark Renaissance Trees Program (NRTP). This program is free and open to Newark residents only, who have or will be receiving a tree from our organization. Residents learn about long term maintenance practices including pruning, as well as tree biology, tree identification and hazardous tree recognition. The final workshop is an opportunity to put that knowledge gained into practice by learning how to conduct a tree inventory. Those who attend all four workshops, become Certified TreeKeepers. 

We are proud to recognize 13 residents as the first class of Certified Newark TreeKeepers! Thank you to all who participated, making this program a huge success! One attendee stated, ” The most valuable part of the workshop was gaining a clear understanding of proper pruning. I will now be looking at trees differently!”

Our 2012 Class of Certified TreeKeepers

Reginald Bledsoe
Mahima Giri
Donna Johnson
Mary McDaniel
Wayne McDougall
Leonard Mitchell
Charon Motayne
Mario Motayne
Joseph Nardone
Gregory Newell
Miriam Santiago
Sandra West
Joy White 
For more information about becoming a Newark TreeKeeper, click here



Camden TreeKeepers Dates Announced

Attention Camden residents! Join us this July for Camden TreeKeepers and learn how to care for your urban trees! Free to Camden residents, participants enjoy educational materials, a free gift and dinner at each session. Attend all four sessions to become a Certified Camden TreeKeeper, of which there are currently 150+ in the city of Camden. Space is limited, so please sign up in advance.

Session 1: Basic Tree Biology and Tree Identification
Wednesday, July 11th from 5:30-7pm
* Gift: Trees of NJ book

Session 2: Tree Planting, Pruning, and Maintenance Techniques
(This session has an outdoor component)
Wednesday, July 18th from 5:30-7pm
* Gift: hand pruners

Session 3: Recognizing Tree Hazards and Tree Disease
Wednesday, July 25th from 5:30-7pm
* Gift: tree watering bag

Session 4: Understanding Environmental Issues and Your Tree &
Community Organizing for Trees
Monday, July 30th from 5:30-7pm
* Gift: surprise!

>>> All sessions will be held at the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (1645 Ferry Avenue, Camden) in the first floor auditorium.

To sign up, please contact Jessica at 856-287-4488 or jfranzini.njtf@gmail.com with your name, address, phone number, and the workshop(s) you want to attend.

Spotlight on Audrey Snyder: Founder of Wood for Good

Audrey Snyder is not your average 17 year old girl! In 2011, she started her own non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for local charities by splitting and selling firewood. Wood for Good operates in Tewksbury, NJ and donates proceeds from the sales of their firewood to 11 charities, including the Brady Life Camp, the Tewksbury Land Trust and the Tewksbury Rescue Squad. “Charity starts at home…Wood for Good was established because we wanted to give back to a community that has given us so much,” explains Audrey in the Wood for Good mission statement.

This month, Wood for Good will be selling trees and donating proceeds to local charities through Mission: Arbor Day. The NJ Tree Foundation is proud to be a partner in this effort, providing 200 trees of four varieties to be sold to local residents.

For more information, or to support Wood for Good, please visit their website.


April is Plant One Million Month

The NJ Tree Foundation is joining forces with folks in NJ, PA and DE to reforest 3 states and 13 counties!  With your help, we can Plant One Million trees!

Jose, a Camden resident, shows his family how to plant a tree at this April event.

Throughout April, our organization will host Saturday tree planting events in Camden, improving environment and quality of life for inner-city residents. On Friday, April 27th, we will join the State of NJ in planting 150 large trees in Haddon Township for the 62nd Annual Arbor Day Celebration. Throughout Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Mercer and Burlington counties, we’re working with dozens of community organizations to plant tree whips in celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day!

Update from the Green Festival, Newark

Thanks to Emily Perez and her family for volunteering with the Tree Foundation at the Ballantine Green Festival – giving out tree seedlings and promoting tree benefits! On Saturday, April 14th, The Ironbound Community Corporation hosted its first “Ballantine Green Festival” that was embraced by local East Ferry residents and businesses. The day was a tremendous success with more than 200 people coming out to celebrate the neighborhood, as well as learning about “green living” and how to sustain a quality of life thorough recycling and composting programs. All of these programs and demonstrations were showcased in the “Eco-Village”, where you also had the opportunity to turn in old televisions, electronics, batteries and rugs. “Although this educational festival was held in the month of April, when we celebrate Earth Day, we are committed to our vision and will throughout the year, place emphasis on the importance of “greenliving”. “ – Joseph Della Fave, Executive Director of the Ironbound Community Corporation.


Celebrate sustainable living at the Ballantine Green Festival on Saturday, April 14th from noon to 4pm. Visit the “Eco Village” to recycle old carpets, batteries, and electronics. The Green Fest will feature environmental demonstrations, artists, food, prizes, games for kids and entertainers.

This event is being hosted by the Ironbound Community Corporation with participating organizations, such as the NJ Tree Foundation, NJ Audubon Society, Greater Newark Conservancy, and Urban Renewal Corp. If you are interested in learning more or volunteering to help out at the Green Fest, please contact Deborah Hurley at 201.709.4296 or dhurley@hurleyjones.com.

Hope to see you there!

Download the flyer for more information:  Ballantine Green Festival 

Volunteer Recognition Award for NRTP

The Newark Renaissance Trees Program has the pleasure of working with 100’s of volunteers each season. This year, NJ Tree Foundation staff have created a Volunteer Recognition Award to honor those dedicated tree advocates that attend several tree plantings and go above and beyond as a volunteer.

The Newark Renaissance Trees Program would like to announce our Fall 2011 Volunteer Recognition Award recipients – Shannon Coulter, Rachel Santos and Wayne McDougall. Thank you so much for your commitment to planting trees and transforming communities in Newark! Even a snowy planting in October could not keep these folks from finishing a tree planting! You are an incredible asset to our program and organization! We hope to continue our work with you in the new year.

Trees & Art = Perfect Together!

The 2012 NJ Arbor Day Art Contest is here! This contest is free and open to all students from Kindergarten through 12th Grade. Your art work will create a beautiful poster celebrating trees in every season! Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Places. Sponsored by the USDA Forest Service, NJ Forest Service and NJ Tree Foundation.

For more information, download the 2012 NJ Arbor Day Art Contest Rules.