HomeMoorestown NewsTownship marks Arbor Day with tree seedlings for residents

Township marks Arbor Day with tree seedlings for residents

Special to The Sun
Tree seedlings will be available to residents as part of the New Jersey Forest Service’s New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign, which has distributed more than 828,000 seedlings in the state over 11 years.

The following story is being reprinted from last week to include the addition of Baker Elementary School students as performers in the celebration.

Moorestown will host an Arbor Day celebration at 10 a.m. on Friday at Yancy Adams Park. Attendees are encouraged to park at Maple Dawson Park for the rain-or-shine event.

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“We want to raise awareness of the park’s history and the township’s effort to revitalize it …” said John Gibson, chair of the Moorestown Tree Planting and Preservation Committee.

Students from Baker elementary school will perform and there will be a presentation on the background of the holiday. Free tree seedlings will be distributed on the 26th and the following day at 9 a.m. in the town hall parking lot.

The seedlings will be available to residents as part of the New Jersey Forest Service’s New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign, which has distributed more than 828,000 tree seedlings to state residents over the course of 11 years. The program is an effort by the township and related agencies such as the New Jersey Forest Service and the Urban and Community Forestry Program.

“We have some people come back and say, ‘When I was a kid, we planted this tree and look at it now, it’s really big,’” Gibson noted. “So that’s always nice to hear, things like that.”

Seedling distributions will be first come, first served, with instructions on how to store, care for and plant the trees. The guides help residents choose the right place on a property to plant a tree while keeping in mind its future growth. Seedlings should be planted within two days after they are obtained to prevent roots from drying out.

When properly planted and maintained, trees can be assets to a community by improving the visual appeal of a neighborhood or business district, increasing property values, reducing home-cooling costs, removing pollutants and providing wildlife habitats.

“Nowadays, one of the more important things is that they (trees) help with water runoff,” Gibson explained. “In the last month, how many times have we heard that this area flooded or that area flooded because of a lack of a place for the water to go? … Well, trees help that. They take up a bunch of the water.”

Arbor Day – celebrated on the last Friday in April – is an internationally recognized event. It’s a day to plant new trees, care for existing ones and educate others on their role in benefiting the environment, according to the Tree Philly website.

The Arbor Day Foundation was founded in 1972, 100 years after J. Sterling Morton celebrated the first holiday by planting a million trees across Nebraska. Since it began, the foundation has become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees and engages in many different programs to green communities across the country.

Moorestown is a 34-year member of the Tree City USA program, one of the Arbor Day Foundation’s oldest programs. According to arborday.org, municipalities can receive program recognition by meeting four standards: maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.

“Trees provide shade, they cool your house (and) they add value to your house,” Gibson noted. “ … I really think that trees add a lot to the community. A lot of people come to Moorestown because of the trees.”


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