Union County, NJ – Eleven municipalities in Union County will plant a total of 602 trees this year with the help of funding from the “Greening Union County” grant program. The program helps local governments offset the cost of planting trees, through matching grants from the Union County Open Space, Historic Preservation and Recreation Trust Fund.
“Greening Union County effectively doubles the purchasing power of local governments,” said Union County Freeholder Angel G. Estrada. “Especially in these times when budgets are strained, Greening Union County is an important shared service that helps to improve public health.”
Freeholder Estrada initiated the program while serving as Freeholder Board Chairman in 2004. Depending on the applicants’ needs, Greening Union County provides grants for new trees at public parks, historic sites and other public facilities, as well as on streets.
“It has long been known that trees in urban areas have a positive impact on air quality and stormwater management,” said Estrada. “New studies are also beginning to measure the positive financial impact that a properly managed urban forestry program can have on public budgets, by returning benefits that significantly outweigh the cost of planting and maintenance.”
The Greening Union County program includes installation by forestry professionals with a one-year maintenance guarantee. Since its inception in 2004, Greening Union County has resulted in a total of 5,679 new trees planted in Union County.
This year’s grants, totaling $64,892, will go to Elizabeth, Fanwood, Kenilworth, Linden, New Providence, Plainfield, Rahway, Roselle, Roselle Park, Springfield, and Summit.
Estrada also noted that building owners can significantly lower their heating and cooling costs by planting trees on their own property.
“A leaf-bearing tree on the south or west side of the property will shade the building and lower your cooling costs in the summer. When the leaves drop in the fall, the sun will get through and help keep your building warmer during the winter,” said Estrada.
Evergreen trees planted on the north or east side of a building can shield the walls from prevailing winter winds, helping to reduce heating costs.
For more information on any Union County press release, please contact Sebastian D’Elia, Communications Director for the County of Union, or a designee listed at the top of this press release. Please join the County of Union online at www.ucnj.org, on Facebook at www.ucnj.org/facebook, and on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/countyofunionnj.