UNION COUNTY, NJ – For a unique look at trees through the eyes of aspiring young writers visit the Union County website at ucnj.org (http://ucnj.org/arbor-day-2014-poetry-contest-winners/), where you can read 15 winning poems from the 2014 Young Writers of Union County Poetry Contest. The contest is part of Union County’s annual Arbor Day celebration.
“On behalf of the Freeholder Board, I would to thank each student who submitted a poem,” said Freeholder Chairman Christopher Hudak. “All of the poems were thoughtful and creative, and together they demonstrate how trees make an enriching contribution to the quality of life here in Union County. It is a real pleasure to share some of these heartfelt words in a public forum.”
The poetry contest is sponsored each year by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Shade Tree Advisory Board. Intended to encourage young people to explore the many contributions that trees make to the Union County, the contest is open to students in all Union County Schools in grades four through eight.
Trees trap airborne pollutants, and they improve local waterways by filtering rainwater and preventing soil erosion. They also help to reduce storm flooding, partly because their leaves intercept rain and give it more time to evaporate before reaching the ground.
Trees can also help Union County residents save on their energy bills. When strategically placed around a home, trees provide shade in the summer that can result in a 50 percent cut on a typical cooling bill. In the winter they act as windbreakers, helping to reduce heating costs.
In recognition of the environmental, public health, and economic benefits of trees, Union County practices a comprehensive approach to tree conservation.
That includes planting new and replacement trees on County property and providing grants for trees on municipal property, as well as supporting the poetry contest and other public outreach efforts.
The Freeholder Board also helps to support the Rutgers 4-H Master Tree Stewards of Union County, who provide classroom lessons and other community service projects relating to tree conservation.
To find out more about tree care in Union County, or to volunteer to join the Master Tree Stewards, contact James Nichnadowicz, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County, 908-654-9854 or firstname.lastname@example.org.