By: Jillian Zimmer, Follow South Jersey Intern
SOUTH JERSEY — The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is awarding $1.3 million to help initiatives to combat climate change and support overburdened communities. The grants supported by Governor Phil Murphy will promote the stewardship of urban and community trees and forests throughout New Jersey.
“With proper care, trees in community and urban settings can be healthy and live long lives,” said State Forester John Sacco. “The New Jersey Urban and Community Forestry program provides the financial and technical assistance communities need to properly manage and care for urban and community trees and forests.”
Many counties in South Jersey such as, Burlington County, Cape May County and Ocean County will receive resiliency planning grants:
Burlington County: Maple Shade, $10,987; Riverton Shade Tree Board, $28,400
Cape May County: Wildwood Crest, $50,000
Ocean County: Jackson Township Shade Tree Commission, $20,000
Resilience planning grants help communities assess their current urban forest and provide information about the forest’s structure and composition. This data may be used to better inform forest management decisions to maximize ecological benefits and create a sustainable urban forest.
Reforestation and tree planting grants were also awarded to Atlantic County, Burlington County, and Cape May County:
Atlantic County: City of Egg Harbor, $30,000
Burlington County: Delanco Township Shade Tree Commission, $80,000
Cape May County: West cape May Shade Tree Commission, $42,300
Reforestation and tree planting grants ensure the growth and establishment of trees and forests that best suit the needs and goals of their communities. Municipalities receiving 2021 grants in this category use funding to increase their urban canopy and increase the ecological services of their urban and community forest.
Funding for these grants comes from the “Treasure Our Trees” state license plate sales and the New Jersey Forest Service No Net Loss Compensatory Reforestation Program.
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