The NJ Tree Foundation is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees in New Jersey’s most underserved neighborhoods, where the need is greatest. Through tree planting, volunteerism, and partnerships, we assist numerous communities in improving their environment and quality of life.
Our Urban Airshed Reforestation Program and Renaissance Trees Program partner with residents in low- to moderate-income, urban areas to that plant trees that are at least ten ten feet tall at the time of planting, a minimum of ten trees at a time. New trees transform the harsh urban environment and bring the community together. Barren residential streets become lush and welcoming, vacant lots turn into plentiful gardens, and previously neglected parks provide shady space for recreation and enjoyment. The residents apply to our programs to receive free trees for their streets, help plant the trees, then care for them long-term. The high-level of involvement from residents throughout the planning and planting process creates a strong community bond with the trees and ultimately results in a tree survival rate of 95%, higher than the average for urban forestry.
Our Green Streets Program hires and trains men under parole supervision to plant trees through municipal contracts. This program offers affordable tree planting and maintenance services to municipalities while providing a stepping stone for ex-offenders to learn job skills and earn an income before they re-enter society. The Green Streets Program also helps the men reconnect with society. Many, for the first time in their lives, are doing work where they feel they are giving back by beautifying neighborhoods with new trees.
“Before we had these trees planted, it was an empty block. When the NJ Tree Foundation came here it gave us a starting point for rehabilitating the block, to restoring the block to the beautiful place that it used to be. After the trees were planted, it gave residents empowerment and pride. When residents came out, they had something right in front of their homes, something that made a difference in their everyday lives. Once residents felt empowered, they take more steps to beautifying their blocks. On this block, we added flowers and decorations to our tree pits, window boxes to our homes, and benches to our sidewalks. We brought all of the beautiful things you see in other healthy communities right here, right to the front of our homes. The children were involved, the families were involved, things really started taking off. This promoted pride, respect, and accountability in our neighborhood. Now, when you look down our street, you can see and FEEL our community. You feel welcomed and happy here, and residents feel that way every time they come home. That is why the NJ Tree Foundation is such a blessing.” - Pino R., resident of Camden, NJ
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