On Friday, April 29, 2016, as part of an Arbor Day Observance, the City of Woodbury will celebrate the receipt of its official Tree City USA designation, sponsored by the national Arbor Day Foundation. As part of the award, Tree City USA signs will be posted at the Cooper Street entrance to the City and at Bell Lake Park (South Girard Street and Myrtle Avenue), to welcome visitors and residents, and the Tree City USA flag will fly outside of City Hall (33 Delaware Street). The two-year application process was part of City Council’s Green Team Committee, composed of Council Members Heather Tierney, Daniel Reddin, and Bill Fleming; Recycling Coordinator Roy Duffield, Economic Development Director Randi Woerner, Public Works Director Rich Leidy, and volunteer Tom Dukelow.
The Arbor Day Observance, an annual tradition in Woodbury, is a program led by the Green Team, with support from the Municipal Alliance, and is a key part of the Tree City USA Community standards. This year, local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops will be on hand to assist in the day’s activities, including the dedication and planting of several flowering trees at Wing-Dickerson Park (Allens Lane). The service will begin at 4:30 pm. Woodbury students were also invited to create posters relevant to an Arbor Day theme. The poster contest winner will receive his or her award as part of the April 29 ceremony.
Mayor Bill Volk states, “The commitment of Mayor and City Council to Woodbury’s trees and community is a benefit to all of us.”
Councilwoman Heather Tierney states, “We’re excited to share this with our Woodbury community. We agree with Tree City USA – that trees serve the community in many ways, including our health, our sustainability, and even our economics. Trees are more than simply shade. They provide us with clean air, assist with erosion, and even increase property values. It’s in the community’s best interest that we protect and celebrate our trees.”
Recently, residents may have noticed the removal of several trees at the busy Evergreen Avenue/Cooper Street intersection. The removal was required for traffic improvements as part of the former Woodbury Country Club redevelopment. Atrium Post-Acute Care, a project by the Buriss Group, is committed to planting 500 trees in and around their grounds to recuperate the loss of the Evergreen Avenue trees, made possible in part by the City of Woodbury’s commitment to the Tree City USA community core values.
A nationally recognized program, Tree City USA offers towns and cities across the country the opportunity to be recognized for their commitment to trees. Municipalities that meet Tree City USA’s fundamental standards are invited to apply. Woodbury met those criteria by:
- Establishing a designated Green Team Committee, comprising elected officials, city administrators, and residents, and charged with the responsibility for all trees located on city-owned property. Tree City USA notes the benefit of a diverse involvement “creates a wide awareness of what trees do for the community and provides broad support for better tree care.”
- Passing a public tree care ordinance, outlining tree care activities to include plans for planting, maintenance, and removal.
- Setting an annual budget of a minimum $2 per capita, an investment that, according to Tree City USA, provides “clean air, clean water, shade and beauty.” Woodbury allots $3.92 per capita, which includes both budget expenditures and the value of volunteer hours.
- Implementing an Arbor Day Observance, where citizens are encouraged to celebrate together the beauty and benefits of their local trees. At the April 12, 2016, Council Meeting, Mayor Bill Volk will sign an official proclamation in support of Woodbury’s annual Arbor Day celebration, to be held April 29, 2016, at Wing-Dickerson Park on Carpenter St. & S. Barber Ave.
In 2014, Tree City USA reported 138 Tree City USA communities in the State of New Jersey, with 40.06% of the population living in a Tree City USA community. New Jersey spent approximately $29 million on urban forestry management in 2014.