June 14: The Naturalization Ceremony will be held at 5 pm, on the County Courthouse steps.  

Somerville plants 150 new trees with state grant

Posted on May 27, 2024

We planted 150 new trees!

The Borough of Somerville completed a reforestation project and planted 150 tree saplings in 4 parks and along the Peter’s Brook greenway and intersecting streets. This project was funded by a $137,210 grant awarded to the Borough in 2022 by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. The total project was estimated to cost $171,000 and the Borough allocated about $34,000 to match the grant by 25-percent.

“The trees will create a stream-side buffer in park land that has suffered from erosion, flooding and storm damage,” explained Councilmember Gina Stravic. “In addition to the tree buffer, we also replaced street trees that were lost during recent storms on the roads that intersect the brook.”

The project was a collaboration between municipal employees and volunteers. The Public Works Department managed the work and will supervise ongoing maintenance. Environmental Commission volunteers selected the tree species and advised on the planting schedule and locations. They will continue working with Recreation Committee volunteers on ways to improve this vital recreation space.

The Core Planning Team overseeing this project consists of Councilmember Stravic, Borough Administrator Kevin Sluka, Public Works Director Rodney Hadley, Recreation Director Kathy Gerndt, Councilmember Glen Denys, and Geoffrey Keiser, an Environmental Commission representative.

The project started with a ceremonial tree planting on May 5 by members of the Environmental Commission. On May 10, the Girl Scouts and students from the Somerville High School Environmental Club planted several trees at Carol Pager Park and Councilmember Glen Denys led the students on a Tree Trek to identify the planted trees. The planting phase of this project was completed on May 13.

The tree inventory includes a variety of deciduous, evergreen and flowering trees: River Birch, Western Larch, Tupelo, Common Hackberry, American Sycamore, Swamp White Oak, Willow Oak, Bald Cypress, Atlantic White Cypress, White Pine, Downy Serviceberry, White Fringetree, Pagoda Dogwood, Sweetbay Magnolia and Red Maple.

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