The Evironmental Commission will be handing out packets of five bare-root tree seedlings to Borough residents on the morning of Saturday, April 24, in the High School Parking Lot. Residents should enter from Lane Avenue and turn right to the Ritter Avenue exit. Residents must follow Covid19 safety protocols: wear masks and stay in cars. Planting and care instructions will be handed out with the seedlings. Packets will include evergreen, shade and possibly ornamental trees.
South Plainfield is again participating in the NJDEP/National Arbor Day Foundation "Restore" project, which aimed to plant 600,000 trees over a 7-year period. This goal was reached in 2019, but the program is continuing due to on-going challenges to New Jersey urban and suburban forests.
This campaign focuses on providing trees to homeowners and communities who lost their urban canopy in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Irene, and the major ice storms in 2011 and 2012. The damage from these storms hit every part of the state causing an untold amount of tree loss. New Jersey is also facing deforestation from Emerald Ash Borer, Spotted Lanternfly, and Bacterial Leaf Scorch. Compounding the State's loss of tree canopy is the large quantity of tree loss in urban and community areas due to tree age and urban redevelopment, putting New Jersey in an urban tree deficit.
Among other benefits, trees help moderate climate: cooling shade in the summer, acting as wind breaks in the winter, absorbing and storing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. Trees capture storm water, holding the soil and reducing flooding. They provide wildlife habitat, improve property values and give neighborhoods a sense of place. Planting a tree seedling is an act of hope for the future and a gift to our children and to theirs. Find a place for a tree or two on your property, and enjoy them for years to come.