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Volunteers Sought for Tree-Planting Program

Participants can become certified 'TreeKeepers'

The NJ Tree Foundation, the city of Newark, residents and volunteers have been working every weekend this spring to plant trees in six Newark neighborhoods. The NJ Tree Foundation and the city of Newark have continued their partnership of greening the city through the Newark Renaissance Trees Program (NRTP). Through the support of local residents and more than 550 volunteers, 124 new 14- to 16-foot shade and flowering trees were planted. As a partner in the NRTP, Mayor Cory Booker and the city coordinate with the foundation to provide support for all tree plantings events.

“As a city, we recognize the importance of local action to address both local public health and global climate change. Our tree-planting program unites our administration, our non-profit partners, and our residents in an alliance to create a greener, healthier, and more beautiful city,” Booker said.

The NRTP is a free program available to all Newark residents.

“Over 95 percent of the trees we have planted in Newark are thriving today because of the community’s involvement. This program provides every resident, organization and school the opportunity to be a part of positive change for their neighborhood and essentially plant hope for a greener, cleaner Newark,” said Shannon Schaaf, program director for the Newark Renaissance Trees Program.

This June, the NJ Tree Foundation will host its first Newark TreeKeepers educational workshops in the city. Newark TreeKeepers is an educational component of the Newark Renaissance Trees Program (NRTP). Through the NRTP, residents apply for trees and partner with the NJ Tree Foundation to reforest inner-city streets. Through Newark TreeKeepers, neighbors learn how to properly care for those trees while connecting with other leaders in their own communities. Presenting a total of four tree-related workshops, those who attend all four will become  certified Newark TreeKeepers. Registration is free to residents and seating is limited.

For more information about these workshops or to register, please contact Shannon Schaaf at 609-439-1755 or njtf_sbuckley@yahoo.com

In the last six years the Newark Renaissance Trees Program has successfully planted 1,624 trees throughout Newark.  This program relies on the support of volunteers, partners and sponsors. The spring 2012 tree planting season is being sponsored by chemical company BASF.

Those interested in bringing trees to your neighborhood should contact the Tree Foundation or download an application at www.njtreefoundation.org.

The foundation is offering the following workshops for those interested in becoming tree keepers:

June 5th – Session 1: Basic Tree Biology and Tree Identification
June 12th – Session 2: Tree Planting, Pruning, and Maintenance Techniques
(This session has an outdoor component)
June 19th – Session 3: Recognizing Tree Hazards, Tree Disease, and Insect Problems
June 26th – Session 4: Tree Inventory in Washington Park
(This session is all outdoors) Rain Date: June 27th

All sessions will be held at the Greater Newark Conservancy’s Outdoor Learning Center, located at 15 Prince St., except the June 26 session, which  will be held at Washington Park, meeting across from 33 Washington St.

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