The Moorestown Improvement Association is issuing a challenge to Moorestown youth.
The Moorestown Improvement Association is starting something of a game in town: Who can identify the most streets in Moorestown named after trees and who can take it one step further to then find trees that share the name with the street on which they reside?
The goal is simple: To encourage kids to take notice of the trees that give Moorestown oxygen, shade and some of its curbside appeal. MIA board member John Khanlian said it occurred to him the MIA could make this Arbor Day particularly special if it encouraged Moorestown students to learn a bit more about the town’s trees they’ll be celebrating on Friday, April 27.
Khanlian said the idea behind the contest started with a simple ride through town. A few months ago, Khanlian was on his bicycle when he began to notice just how many streets in Moorestown were named after trees. When Khanlian arrived home, he perused a map of Moorestown only to have his suspicions confirmed that there was no shortage of streets paying homage to the town’s foliage.
He approached MIA’s board with his idea for a contest to name all the tree streets in Moorestown. Through discussions, the board decided there was were ways that contestants could have easy access to that information, so they decided to include an added challenge to have students locate trees that share their street’s namesake.
For instance, if someone was on Sycamore Street and found a sycamore tree, they should photograph themself next to the tree as proof of their find and submit as many of these finds as they can, Khanlian said. While not every street will have a tree that shares its name, students are encouraged to locate as many as possible.
The ultimate goal is the contest spurs young minds to read up on trees. He said to properly identify these trees, students will have to do a little research and hopefully have some fun while trying to track them down, Khanlian said.
Any student in Moorestown is eligible to participate. Winners will be selected within age-level groups with the victors being determined by MIA’s board. In addition to being recognized at the Arbor Day festivities in Moorestown, the champions will receive gift cards and a variety of prizes, which are being donated by Moorestown businesses.
“It’s something the association felt would be appropriate because of their long standing interest in supporting historical aspects of Moorestown — natural aspects of Moorestown, particularly with it being known as a shade tree town,” Khanlian said of the contest.
MIA President Dave Schill said Moorestown’s trees have long been of importance to MIA as they believe greenery adds to the aesthetics and quality of life in town. Schill said in the past, MIA has been one of the largest donors of shade trees to the township.
Schill said the contest is also largely about making kids more aware of Arbor Day.
“We brought Arbor Day to Moorestown close to 100 years ago,” Schill said.
Since the MIA brought Arbor Day into the limelight, Moorestown has received Tree City USA designation from the Arbor Day Foundation, Schill said. The designation recognizes communities that have made a commitment to fostering an urban tree canopy.
If the contest is well-received, MIA has every intention of bringing it back next year, Schill said.
Participants can obtain entry forms from MIA’s website at www.moorestownimprovement.org or at the Moorestown Hardware Store on Mill Street. Entry forms include instructions on how to submit results via mail, email or in person. The deadline for entries is Friday, April 6.