The township has received a special waiver from the state to use public grant funding to plant trees on private property in the development, Business Administrator Scott Pezarras said recently.
Normally, under the state's No Net Loss grant program, trees downed in construction projects can be replaced on public land elsewhere using state funding, but the concerns of residents prompted the state to grant an exception to Brick to use the funding to plant trees in Evergreen Woods.
The township council recently accepted the funds from a $511,020 grant to plant trees in the neighborhood and at several township parks, including Windward Beach, Bayside Park, the Drum Point Sports Complex, Angela Hibbard Park, Lake Riviera Park and Colorado Park. The latest grant is in addition to an earlier $675,000 grant the township received under the same program.
The grant funding must be used by July 15, 2018.
"We plan on planting over 4,000 trees in these few years," said Council President Susan Lydecker.
The grant includes provisions to plant both trees and certain large shrubs.
Since construction began on the project to create shoulders and widen lanes on the Garden State Parkway, residents of Evergreen Woods have frequently come to township council meetings to speak about an increase in noise and pollution, as well as what they see as a lessening of their property values.
The township has only minimal influence over the project since it is administered by the state Turnpike Authority, which runs the Parkway.