MATAWAN – In celebration of Arbor Day, residents gathered at Borough Hall for an event hosted by the Matawan Shade Tree Commission.
Commission members distributed Swamp White Oak, Hickory, Dogwood and Black Walnut saplings to those in attendance, free of charge, on April 30.
The Arbor Day event focused on the importance of trees and their function in daily life.
Borough Council President Brian Livesey addressed the guests and said, “Trees are an important part of every community. Our streets, parks, playgrounds and backyards are lined with trees that create a peaceful, aesthetically pleasing environment.
“Trees increase our quality of life by bringing natural elements and wildlife habitats into municipal settings. Trees contribute to their environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, conserving water, preserving soil and supporting wildlife,” Livesey said.
To illustrate the significance of trees, the commission sponsored a “Trees Are Worth It” poster contest for first, second and third grade pupils at the Ravine Drive Elementary School. The children were asked to create posters that explained the role of trees in the community.
To showcase the artwork of the students in each grade level, a collection of posters decorated the walls inside Borough Hall.
The winners of the Shade Tree Commission’s poster contest were announced as follows: First grade, Leila Veliu; second grade, Maxim Raczynsky; third grade, a tie between Tanvi Deshpande and Charlotte Dorata.
The winners will receive an award certificate and prizes, and in 2023, their posters will be featured in the Matawan recycling calendar. The children will also have an opportunity to name and plant a tree in the community.
The winners of the poster contest will be recognized during the May 17 meeting of the Borough Council.
“Part of our poster contest is planting a tree in town and then the third grade winners get to name that tree … it will be permanent memorial to that,” Livesey said.
The members of the Shade Tree Commission serve the community by inspecting and maintaining trees throughout the borough and by reviewing development applications to ensure the plans comply with applicable tree ordinances. The commission members also advise residents on tree related issues and make recommendations for tree planting in Matawan.