New Jersey Tree Foundation Greens Communities on TD Tree Days
By Mary Sweeney | September 21, 2018
Guest post by Beth Kwart, Development Director, NJ Tree Foundation
The TD Tree Days program gives us opportunities to make a large impact in community parks, residential streets, and open spaces. We have planted anywhere from 30 to 130 trees at one time through our TD Tree Days events.
-Lisa Simms, Executive Director for the New Jersey Tree Foundation.
Each year, the Arbor Day Foundation and TD Bank awards 10 community grants to municipalities with Tree City USA designation as part of the TD Green Streets program. The grants are used to plant trees in barren and underserved communities.
The New Jersey Tree Foundation—an organization dedicated to improving the environment and quality of life for New Jersey residents by planting trees—has partnered with TD Green Streets grant recipients in New Jersey for many years now. We work with local communities to organize tree plantings with residents. Through the program, we have helped plant more than 1,345 trees and host more than 20 TD Trees Day events.
We provide street trees to residents, and in return, the residents help Tree Foundation staff organize the planting events and sign an agreement to care for the trees at least two years after planting. Volunteers from the community and surrounding area plant the trees together with at least ten trees planted at every event.
This year, we’re hosting a TD Tree Days event to plant 50 trees in East Orange, 45 trees in Atlantic City, and 40 trees in Rahway. All of these areas are currently barren spaces, with only a handful of trees in the busy parks and open spaces.
“TD Tree Days has allowed us to use urban forestry to improve the lives of thousands of New Jersey residents in low- to moderate-income communities. The trees we planted have also increased the tree canopy and diversity of urban forests, which is very important in our cities that have such low canopy coverage,” remarks Lisa Simms.
One of our largest TD Tree Days events was held at Liney Ditch Park in Camden in 2013. More than 100 TD Bank employee volunteers planted 117 trees throughout the park. The 117 trees have made a significant difference and were badly needed at the time. Liney Ditch Park is in the Waterfront South neighborhood of Camden, which has some of the poorest air quality in the city because of several industrial buildings and a wastewater treatment plant.
A large grouping of trees were planted together in the park to create a shelterbelt. This grouping of purposefully placed and carefully selected trees redirects wind and reduces wind speed, helping to alleviate odors and capture particulate matter before it reaches the residents in the neighborhood. The shelterbelt is growing in fabulously. The trees were well cared for during their establishment period and it clearly shows today.
From completely reforesting parks, to improving tree canopy diversity, to planting along streets where residents live and play, the TD Tree Days events have made New Jersey a greener place to live. We look forward to many more projects together.
Program Manager, Program Services,
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