The Jersey City Parks Coalition is proud to announce the City of Trees initiative to plant 5,000 trees over the next five years. The plantings will help restore the declining tree canopy throughout the City.
The initiative is a citywide stewardship program open to anyone interested in improving Jersey City’s trees. City of Trees plantings will be held throughout October celebrating “National Make A Difference Day“. We will have several days of service that engages volunteers to plant trees in various locations throughout the City. So, we are collaborating with the City, New Jersey City University, and resident volunteers to start mapping our neighborhoods using GIS mapping technology which will be provided by the City.
The City of Trees initiative promotes healthy trees by educating residents and increasing their role in the care of the City’s trees. Through training workshops, volunteers can become part of our citywide “Tree Lovers Crew” (TLC) and share the responsibility to plant and care for trees in their neighborhoods.Planting trees on the city scale is not the only way to get involved with the City of Trees initiative. This initiative is also perfect for families trying to become more sustainable in their own homes.Many schools are also adopting the City of Trees initiative in their everyday curriculum.
Jersey City’s Urban Forest
Jersey City is losing about 124 trees per year due to multiple causes, like natural disasters, lack of diverse species causing the spread of disease, poor planting, and maintenance.According to the recent Tree Canopy Study commissioned by the Jersey City Environmental Commission, Jersey City has only a 17% tree canopy when a city this size should have more like 44%.
The graphs above illustrate the tree canopy coverage by Ward, which is skewed due to the large parks like Lincoln Park in Ward C, Liberty State Park in Ward F, and Arlington Park in Ward B. As you can see from the “third map”, Jersey City is extremely lacking in greenery. This is a depiction of how few trees Jersey City actually has. Planting 5,000 new trees and maintaining the existing ones is vital to Jersey City. One of the biggest reasons for planting trees is to help lessen the effects of flooding throughout the City. Currently, the 17% tree canopy is only stopping less than ⅓ of the amount of rainwater that hits Jersey City during a 1-inch rain event. The rest of that water is flooding the sewer systems and streets of our beloved City. This tree planting initiative will be able to increase the rainwater absorption rate to almost half!
The City trees can absorb about 265 Olympic sized swimming pools of water! However, we can’t plant trees without knowing exact locations of empty tree pits, sick or dead trees, the wrong species of trees due to the location of power lines, size of tree pit or habitat for certain types of rodents and bugs.