Get your free tree seedlings tomorrow! Saturday April 27, in front of Maplewood Town Hall, 574 Valley St, Maplewood, NJ 07040. Beginning at 9 AM.
The Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Parks and Forestry is providing 60,000 free tree seedlings to residents through the New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign, an ongoing effort of the New Jersey Forest Service, the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation and other partners.
Residents are eligible to receive bundles of five free seedlings at any of 118 distribution sites across 19 counties beginning Saturday, March 30 and continuing through Sunday, May 5. Proof of residency in the community where seedlings are distributed is not required.
“Trees provide many benefits beyond beautifying our communities,” said DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “Trees clean our air, fight climate change, provide habitat for wildlife, offer shade and improve the health of our environment.”
Planting trees can also help reduce global warming, by removing carbon dioxide from the air. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that is a major contributor to global warming.
The free tree seedlings program launched after Superstorm Sandy destroyed and damaged trees across the state in 2012. Since then, the program has made more than 500,000 trees available to residents. Although some of the seedlings are non-native species, they may actually be hardier than native species and are able to thrive in harsh conditions.
“While the tree seedlings stand just one to two feet tall now, with proper care they will soon grow to be powerhouses at cleaning the water we drink and air we breathe,” said New Jersey Forest Service Chief Todd Wyckoff. “In urban areas where there are many pollutants, these environmental benefits are especially important.”
The New Jersey Forest Service Nursery in Jackson Township, Ocean County, will distribute 37 different species of trees. Communities will receive species that grow well in their region.
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