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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2013

Contact: Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Bob Considine (609) 984-1795

CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION CELEBRATES THE 64th STATE ARBOR DAY IN ASBURY PARK
Iconic Shore City Exemplifies Sandy Recovery Effort with Tree Planting Work

(13/P40) TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection’s Community Forestry Program, the New Jersey Community Forestry Council and the New Jersey Tree Foundation celebrated Arbor Day today by planting three dozen trees in Library Square Park in Asbury Park, Monmouth County.

“We gather in Asbury Park this Arbor Day to help restore a shore community which suffered damage not only along its beaches during Superstorm Sandy but also lost valuable shade trees along its streets,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin, who joined the re-planting effort. “The Christie Administration is committed to rebuilding our state and restoring our Sandy damaged environment.

“These trees planted today will provide clean air, shade, and beautiful views to residents and visitors at this Shore community for many years to come,’’ added Commissioner Martin. “It’s especially fitting to do this planting and restoration work during Earth Week.”

More than 50 volunteers joined Commissioner Martin in Library Square Park to replace trees lost during Sandy. Some species planted will showcase fragrant flowers in the spring, such as eastern redbud, star magnolia, and Kousa dogwood. The dense foliage of the swamp white oak, sweetgum, and American elm will help shade sidewalks from the summer sun. During autumn, amur maple, ginkgo, and serviceberry planted today will provide splashes of striking color throughout the park.

“Sandy swept across Asbury Park and took down 16 shade trees in Library Square Park alone,” said State Forester Lynn Fleming. “The replacement trees, however, were carefully chosen to fit the site and will be able to grow strong and healthy, withstanding the many environmental stressors of a street tree.”

“The new trees adhere to the original plan of Library Square Park, which was created in the late 1890’s, by having the pathways lined with large shade trees and the perimeter of the park filled small and medium size flowering trees,” said Tom Pivinski, the Chair of the Asbury Park Environment and Shade Tree Commission.

Asbury Park Deputy Mayor John M. Loffredo noted the “extraordinary efforts of the city’s Department of Public Works that cleared away the felled trees and prepared Library Square Park for its arboreal facelift.”

The state has been celebrating Arbor Day since 1949, when the Legislature designated the last Friday in April as the official day to honor trees and the people who take care of them.

The State Arbor Day celebration this year included the assistance and cooperation of many partners, supporters, and volunteers who promote the efforts of the New Jersey State Forestry Services Community Forestry Program. Included were the City of Asbury Park, Asbury Park Environmental and Shade Tree Commission, New Jersey Shade Tree Federation, New Jersey Shade Tree and Community Forestry Council, New Jersey Tree Foundation, Society of Certified Tree Experts, and local volunteers.  

During the Arbor Day ceremony, the DEP presented the prestigious Joyce Kilmer Award for outstanding contributions to community forests to retired state supervising forester Michael D’Errico.

This Arbor Day also commemorates Asbury Park’s 11th year as a Tree City USA. With 181 Tree City USA communities in New Jersey, more than any state in the northeast and ranked fourth overall, New Jersey shows a strong commitment to maintain and enhance our community forests.

For more information, please visit us www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/forest and like State Forestry Service’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/newjerseyforests

For more information on Arbor Day visit www.arborday.org and for tree care tips visit www.treesaregood.com.

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Last Updated: April 22, 2013