TOMS RIVER – Free tree seedlings will be available to Toms River residents on April 8 as part of the New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign. This program is part of an ongoing effort to replace trees destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, residents will be able to pick up tree seedlings at the Keller Williams Realty office parking lot at 1400 Hooper Avenue or the Third Avenue parking lot in Ortley Beach. The Township will receive 2,000 trees and 1,000 trees will be distributed to each location. The Toms River Green Team and the Toms River Environmental Commission have volunteered to assist in the distribution.
Seedlings are available on a first come, first served basis to any resident, not just those who live in Toms River. The seedlings also come with instructions on how to store, care for and plant them. The guides help residents choose the right place on a property to plant a tree while keeping in mind the tree’s full-grown size in the future. Residents should plant the seedlings within two days after pick-up in order to prevent the roots from drying out.
Mayor Thomas F. Kelaher said, “Trees are an important part of our community, providing oxygen, improving air quality, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife. Our streets, parks, playgrounds and backyards are lined with trees that create a peaceful, aesthetically pleasing environment. Through the New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign, homeowners can replant trees lost during Superstorm Sandy for free with a wide range of trees native to New Jersey such as oaks, dogwoods and maples.”
The goal of the Tree Recovery Campaign is to distribute over 500,000 tree seedlings to New Jersey residents over the course of the next five years. It is a joint effort between Toms River Township, NJ Forest Service Community Forestry Program, NJ Forest Nursery, New Jersey Soil Conservation Districts, Sustainable New Jersey, Arbor Day Foundation, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Canon, and FedEx.