Essex County Veterans Memorial Park got a burst of color and life for Earth Day last Friday as students from Newark Tech weeded and planted flowers and a plum tree to celebrate the annual day dedicated to the environment.
Dozens of students worked with the county Department of Parks to plant the tree in 2.7-acre park, located outside of Newark Tech on West Market Street in Newark, and raised $767 to purchase landscaping by hosting a dress down day at the school.
"To celebrate Earth Day, we wanted to take on a project and show what we could accomplish as a school," said Ryan Drigpaul, a junior at Newark Tech. "This was a great activity because we came out here today and worked as one."
The students named the tree "Autumn," he said.
Opened in September 2009, the park pays homage to the armed services with an Armed Forces Memorial which represents the seven branches of the military with flags that fly from 25-foot poles. The New Jersey State flag and Essex County flag fly from 30-foot poles, while the American flag flies from a 35-foot pole at the center of the display. At the base of each flag is the official agency or government seal on a granite wall.
"We commend the Junior class for their initiative to raise money and help beautify the area through the plantings," said Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. "It’s great to see the students take ownership and use the activity to learn about the environment and build camaraderie."
– Staff reports