The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection celebrated Arbor Day today by planting more than 100 trees along the streets of Haddon Township and in Crystal Lake Park in Camden County.

“Today we recognize the importance of trees, their beauty and ecological value, and applaud those committed to tree planting and care across New Jersey,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin, who joined in the tree planting effort.

More than 300 volunteers, including members of the New Jersey Youth Corps and students from local schools, pitched in today in the Haddon Township planting effort. Volunteers planted shade trees such as sugar maple, willow oak, flowering dogwood, blackgum, Okame cherry, London plane tree, Greenspire linden, and swamp white oak. 

Arbor Day 2012 also included a ceremonial planting of a white oak, a stately native New Jersey tree that has been known to live up to 600 years.  “Trees along New Jersey’s streets and in local parks are just as important as trees in the forest,” said State Forester Lynn Fleming. “Each tree planted today beautifies the community while providing clean air and water, shade, and runoff protection for many years.”

The DEP has been promoting Arbor Day statewide since 1949, when the Legislature designated the last Friday in April as the official day to honor trees and the people who take care of them.

Tree City USA Anniversary Awards:

20th Year:  Montgomery Township, Hackensack, Trenton
1st Year: Camden, Hightstown Borough, Mercer County, Middle Township, New Milford, Newton, Phillipsburg, Robbinsville, Woodstown Borough