(CNBNewsnet)(Gloucester City, NJ) (November 11, 2019)-Saturday, November 9, the NJ Tree Foundation planted ten trees at the First Baptist Church and neighboring apartments on Monmouth Street in Gloucester City. Twenty-two volunteers came out to help with the planting, including students from Rutgers, Watershed Ambassadors, and Pastor Rick from the First Baptist Church.
Littleleaf lindens, cherries, and crape myrtles now stand in tree pits along the street, as well as 34 grasses and shrubs that will help to attract native pollinators. The pits were created only two weeks ago and are specially designed to absorb more stormwater than standard pits. This is especially important in Gloucester City, an area that is prone to flooding and has a combined sewer system that, when overburdened from heavy rain events, floods the streets with a combination of sewage and stormwater. The pits, as well as the trees and plants themselves, will help to absorb some water and reduce the burden on the system.
Trees have benefits extending far beyond absorbing stormwater, of course. Researcher Kathleen Wolf has studied the benefits of trees on human health for years, finding that the presence of trees can help to reduce stress and anxiety and increase happiness. They bring life and color to a block, and create shady places for people to relax under. Trees work to filter out pollutants from the air and water, making breathing easier for everyone and improving watershed health. They also provide wildlife habitat for critters such as birds and squirrels, and are a food source for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
“We are so excited to have brought trees to this block, especially in the enhanced stormwater pits,” said Crystal Wessel, Program Coordinator for the NJ Tree Foundation. “Green infrastructure such as this helps us tackle many problems at once - we can address flooding and pollution, while also bringing beauty and shade to the block and happiness to the nearby residents. It’s a win for everybody.”
About NJ Tree Foundation
The NJ Tree Foundation is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees in New Jersey’s most underserved neighborhoods, where the need is greatest. Through tree planting, volunteerism, and partnerships, the NJ Tree Foundation assists numerous communities in improving their environment and quality of life. The NJ Tree Foundation celebrated its 20-year anniversary in 2018 and has planted over 253,879 trees across the state since inception. Learn more at www.njtrees.org.