New Milford has recently been awarded the designation of "Tree City USA" by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.
There will be two signs proclaiming New Milford a "Tree City"-- one at New Bridge Landing and River Road, and the other on Boulevard near the Oradell border.
Having a "Tree City USA" sign at the entrance to the community denotes a certain quality of life and is an indication that New Milford is a town that cares about the environment.
Steve Perrone, chairman of the Shade Tree Commission, said that he is very proud that New Milford has been named "Tree City USA."
"The Commission worked hard to get this designation for New Milford," Perrone said.
Commission member Michael Putrino said, "Tree City USA is a wonderful and much deserved accomplishment for New Milford."
"It took a lot of hard work and coordination between the Shade Tree Commission and the DPW," he added.
In order for a community to be considered a Tree City, the town has to have a tree commission, a tree care ordinance, a community forestry program and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
What is the role of the Shade Tree Commission in the community? Since 2005, New Milford's Shade Tree Commission has been working with residents to maintain healthy trees throughout the town. Arborist Norm Krause will assess a tree on both public and private property to determine its health and make recommendations.
The Shade Tree Commission also strives to add more trees to the community, and replace any that have been lost either through disease or a storm. Towards that effort, Perrone said that the Shade Tree Commission began a tree farm in 2005. The tree farm is located near the DPW behind the recycling center. It began with the planting of 300 trees of different varieties: white pine, red oak, silky dogwood and spruce.
Trees from the farm are transplanted throughout the borough to add to the lanscape or, in the event of a storm such as Hurricane Irene and the October snow storm where trees were lost, to replace fallen trees.
The Shade Tree Commission has been working hard planning their annual Arbor Day event. In conjunction with the Environmental Commission, the Shade Tree Commission will be hosting Arbor Day festivities Saturday, April 28 from 9am to noon at the tree farm behind the recylcing center. Perrone said that 100 tube seedlings will be given out that day.
"Arbor Day not only helps to promote awareness and growth in the community," Perrone said. "It's a way to celebrate the environment."