Summit one of 15 towns to receive reforestation grants

SUMMIT, NJ — Summit was among 15 municipalities to receive more than $50,000 for floodplain reforestation projects, Sustainable Jersey announced on Feb. 5.

The Roots for Rivers Reforestation Grant and Technical Assistance Program is a partnership between Sustainable Jersey, The Nature Conservancy and The Watershed Institute.

To date, Roots for Rivers–funded proposals include more than 92,000 trees to support New Jersey floodplains.
The Summit Environmental Commission’s Passaic River Reforestation Project will receive $2,371.60 to plant 200 trees.

The 14 other grant recipients are Oakland, Glen Rock, Maple Shade, Belleville, South Orange, Kingwood, Bloys Farm, Holland Brook, Highland Park, Woodbridge, Howell, Mantoloking, Passaic and Manville. These communities will receive funding to cover the costs of tree saplings and protection. The trees will be planted by local volunteers.

To help The Nature Conservancy reach its goal of planting 100,000 trees by the end of 2020, a second application period is open until March 2 for the 2020 Roots for Rivers Reforestation and Technical Assistance Program.

Interested municipalities should review and submit the grant application.
“Throughout much of the state, our floodplains have been deforested and left without trees to help filter water, absorb flooding or cool the rivers for fish,” said Michelle DiBlasio, the watershed restoration coordinator for the New Jersey Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.
“One important way to help ensure we can continue to rely upon our precious natural water resources,” she continued, “is to restore New Jersey’s floodplains — the critical land near our rivers’ banks.”

Planting trees in places where the floodplains have been degraded will protect the lands and waters on which communities depend.
“This funding is exactly what we need to manage flood waters and save endangered fish and wildlife,” said Randall Solomon, executive director of Sustainable Jersey.

He added, “Besides flood and drought protection, floodplains can prevent erosion, improve soil formation, purify water replenishing groundwater reservoirs and support the conservation of habitats and species.

“Sustainable Jersey values our partnership with The Nature Conservancy and applauds the municipalities for doing the hard work at the local level.”

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