Township of Brick has been approved for a grant in the amount of
$675,000 from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection,
Division of Parks and Forestry 2013 Grant Program, which will enable them to plant trees on public lands, according to Brick officials.
The grant, also
known as the "No Net Loss" grant,
has been used as funding to pay for plantings of trees at a
number of public parks over the past five years.
"This grant will be used to make Brick Township a
greener community," Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis said in the statement. "The best part of it is that
it will come at no cost to our taxpayers."
The State of New Jersey provides this funding to offset the loss
of vegetation due to State construction projects. The most recent
funding has been provided from the loss of mature trees along the Garden
State Parkway due to the expansion project.
"We plan on using some of this grant to plant
trees in the Evergreen Woods development that has been impacted by the
Parkway construction project," said Acropolis. "We have heard
from residents of that community about how their quality of life has
been impacted by the project, particularly due to increased sound from
the loss of trees. We intend on planting trees to restore a natural
sound barrier for those citizens."
In some cases, the funds can be used on privately
owned lands if an agreement for planting and maintenance is entered
into between the property owner, Township and State. Acropolis
indicated that the Township will be discussing this with the Evergreen
Woods property management in the near future.
The next step for the Township is to hire a state
approved landscape architect or arborist to develop the planting plan.
Once the plan is approved by the State of New Jersey, the Township can
bid the project and begin planting. The Township must plant 2,250 trees
or $675,000/$300 per tree. The minimum of $300 per tree can include the
cost of developing the plan, planting materials, irrigation, and labor.
Brick Township has been named a Tree City USA by
the Arbor Day Foundation for the past nine years. This designation is
awarded to municipalities for their commitment to community forestry.