Freeholders visit schools and discuss the many benefits of trees
HOLMDEL, LITTLE SILVER, MARLBORO, and SEA GIRT, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders marked Arbor Day at local elementary schools: Holmdel Village Elementary School, Point Road School in Little Silver, Frank DelFino Elementary School in Marlboro, 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.
The celebration started at the Frank DelFino Elementary School where Freeholder Serena DiMaso, liaison to the County’s Shade Tree Commission, helped to plant a Japanese Flowering cherry tree, Kwanzan Cherry, Prunus serrulate ‘Kwanzan’ and handout tree seedlings to the students.
“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.”
Freeholder Deputy Director John P. Curley joined Freeholder DiMaso in Little Silver to speak to the kindergarten through fourth grade students about the importance of trees and present a proclamation.
“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,” said Freeholder Curley. “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.”
In Sea Girt, Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone participated in the Arbor Day program at Sea Girt Elementary School with local town and shade tree officials.
The last Japanese Flowering cherry tree of the Arbor Day 2017 was planted in Holmdel by Freeholder DiMaso and the students of Village Elementary School. A longtime member of the town’s Green Team, DiMaso quizzed students about the importance of being green.
“It is a pleasure to visit elementary schools and see the enthusiasm each of the students has for Arbor Day and protecting the environment,” commented DiMaso. “Expressing their thoughts through songs and stories shows the commitment of students and their teachers.”
At each school, the freeholders presented Arbor Day proclamations and recognized the work of the County’s Shade Tree Commission.
At each tree planting, the freeholders and Shade Tree staff handed out Eastern white pines, Pinus strobus, to each child. The children were encouraged to take their tree seedlings home, plant them and help with community reforestation.
For more than a decade, Monmouth County has been designated as a “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation. The recognition acknowledges the tree workers, managers, volunteers, tree board members and others who work so hard to maintain our communities’ trees.
At each of the schools, Freeholder 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,” DiMaso said. “But they do much more than just plant and maintain trees. When storms hit, work crews go out to assessing the damage to our trees and while removing the broken limbs from County roads. They are a big part of our snowstorm cleanup each year.”
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 care and maintenance of the County’s many 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.