Rutgers-Camden Community Park
Supplemental Environmental Project, Camden, NJ
This SEP involved the planting and long-term maintenance of several mature plum and crimson maple trees in this city-owned community park. These species were selected in part because of their ornamental value. The park is located adjacent to Rutgers-Camden’s athletic fields and one block from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and is equipped with a playground, benches and picnic tables. The trees were planted in the empty grassy areas, to supplement the already-existing trees, and a few were planted to replace dead trees and stumps.
In addition to beautifying our urban environment, trees offer enjoyment to city dwellers and are considered a key element of a city’s green infrastructure. Trees provide many environmental benefits. They clean the air by filtering air pollutants and reducing the conditions that cause asthma and other respiratory problems. Trees help reduce storm runoff, which is particularly valuable in urban environments where impervious surfaces dominate the landscape. Trees also reduce noise pollution by absorbing sounds and acting as “noise buffers”, and they lower surface and air temperatures by providing shade and through evapotranspiration. In addition, urban tree planting help create and enhance animal and plant habitats.
This SEP provided immediate tangible benefits to both park visitors and permanent residents of the neighborhood by enhancing an already existing community park, providing additional shade and reducing air pollution, heat, noise and storm runoff.