HOLMDEL, MARLBORO, NEPTUNE and SEA GIRT, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders marked Arbor Day with tree plantings at four county schools: Frank J. Dugan Elementary School in Marlboro, Holmdel Village Elementary School, Neptune Middle School and Sea Girt Elementary School.
At each of the events, students showcased their artwork, poetry and new found knowledge about the importance of trees in their communities and the ecosystem.
At Frank J. Dugan Elementary School in Marlboro, Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, liaison to the County’s Shade Tree Commission, helped to plant a Kwanzan Cherry Tree.
“Planting trees provides many benefits to our ecosystem, and Arbor Day raises our awareness about their importance,” said DiMaso. “The value of planting trees isn’t always known. This simple act symbolizes faith that the tree will grow, provide a wildlife habitat, control erosion, and give shelter from the sun and wind.
“It is a pleasure to visit the schools and see the enthusiasm these students have for Arbor Day and protecting the environment,” commented DiMaso. “Expressing their thoughts through songs and stories shows the commitment of students and their teachers.”
In Holmdel, DiMaso quizzed students about the importance of being green and saluted the Holmdel School District’s Green Team. DiMaso joined the students in planting a Zelkova ‘Village Green.’
At each school, the freeholders presented Arbor Day proclamations and recognized the work of the County’s Shade Tree Commission.
In Neptune and Sea Girt, Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone spoke to students about the importance of trees. Arnone, DiMaso and Freeholder Lillian Burry then helped the Sea Girt students plant a Kwanzan Cherry tree. Arnone and DiMaso also assisted students in Neptune plant an Acer rubrum tree.
“This is the tenth year in a row that Monmouth County has been designated as a “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation,” stated Arnone. “Receiving this recognition acknowledges the tree workers, managers, volunteers, tree board members and others who work hard to maintain our trees. It was impressive to see the students engaged and enthusiastic about Arbor Day, which afforded them an opportunity to express their knowledge and appreciation of planting and caring for trees. Arbor Day is celebrated in all 50 states and is testimony to the importance this country places on the many benefits that trees provide. It is a great opportunity to hear about what they learned and how it can be used to benefit our environment.”
At each tree planting, the freeholders handed out Douglas fir and White pine seedlings to each child. The children were encouraged to take their tree seedlings home, plant them and help with community reforestation.
“The amount of knowledge students demonstrated about Arbor Day and trees is a credit to their teachers and the students studying a valuable subject,” said Burry, who participated in the tree planting at Sea Girt Elementary School. “The 144th anniversary of Arbor Day in the U.S. reflects the interest of all citizens who care about our environment and how to preserve it. Observance of the day shows that generation after generation is passing down the value of planting and caring for trees.”
At Neptune Middle School, DiMaso told the students, “This tree is a wonderful addition to your school. Trees also reduce the erosion of our valuable topsoil, they cut heating and cooling costs, clear the air, produce life-giving oxygen and provide habitat for wildlife while providing beauty in our communities. Most of all, we want you to remember this tree and come back and visit it after you leave this school.”
“The County Shade Tree Commission plants between 1,000 and 1,500 trees and shrubs each year,” Arnone said. “But they do much more than just plant and maintain trees - when storms hit, crews go out to assess the damage to our trees and while removing the broken limbs from County roads.
Each year the County holds Arbor Day celebrations that include tree plantings as part of its community forestry program. The County Shade Tree Commission is responsible for the care and maintenance of all the County’s trees. Monmouth County actively participates in the Tree City USA program that is sponsored by The National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.