NJ Tree Foundation Plants 41 Trees on Mercer Street
April 21, 2021 - On Saturday, April 17th, the New Jersey Tree Foundation planted 41 trees along Mercer Street, North Brown Street, and North Johnson Boulevard in Gloucester City. The streets have lost a number of mature trees in recent years, and much of the block was left barren. Now, Cherries, Lilacs, and Hornbeams will provide pops of color and shade all along the street. Trees are a great way to address a multitude of issues. Not only do they help to clean our air and water, but they can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and increase happiness. They also provide wildlife habitat for critters such as birds and squirrels, and are a food source for pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
This planting served as Gloucester City’s official Arbor Day celebration and was made possible with the help of the Gloucester City Shade Tree Committee. Two residents in particular, Joyce Calzonetti and Bill Waters helped to truly bring the planting to life. Bill is a Mercer Street resident and has witnessed the block lose its tree canopy over the past few decades. Determined to bring life back to his block, he reached out to the NJ Tree Foundation to see how he could get trees planted in the neighborhood. Together they canvassed the block to ask neighbors if they wanted trees, and were able to get a total of 41 trees!
“When I got the encouragement last summer from our Gloucester City Shade Tree Committee to apply for a grant for a major tree planting on my street, I hoped to get us 20 trees. To wind up planting 41 was amazingly gratifying!” Bill explained. “The dedication of Joyce and the NJ Tree Foundation, along with the support of many of our Mercer Street residents and the army of skilled volunteers who showed up on Saturday was flat-out inspirational. They all helped to create a lasting legacy of beauty for our street.”
Joyce Calzonetti, president of the Gloucester City Shade Tree Committee, was also critical to making the planting happen. She helped to recruit volunteers for the planting, select species, and attached watering bags to the trees to make maintenance easy for tree recipients. She has worked with the NJ Tree Foundation for years to help organize plantings and tree maintenance events and hopes to be able to plant in more Gloucester City neighborhoods.
“Every time we plant trees in a neighborhood, it sparks an interest with people from other neighborhoods. People like knowing that we're planting the ‘Right Tree in the Right Place’, and not planting large park trees that are very invasive to small neighborhoods,” Joyce said. “The Gloucester City Shade Tree Committee's motto is Planting Roots in Gloucester City, One Tree at a Time. Our hope is to be able to bring tree plantings to many other neighborhoods in Gloucester City for people who have started planting their own roots here!”
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 its inception. Learn more at www.njtrees.org.