FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ – The  New Jersey Arborists Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture brought manpower and equipment valued at $3.6 million to Colonial Park Dec. 1 for the chapter’s annual Work Day of Service.

Professional arborists and urban foresters volunteer a day of work at a location selected by the chapter annually. The recipient organization pays a fraction of what the total work is worth, with the money going into the “Tree Fund,” which provides grants for research in arboriculture and urban forestry.

The Somerset County Park Foundation invested $17,000 in the effort that resulted in more than $85,000 in tree work. The Park Foundation is committed to excellence in the promotion of stewardship of lands and resources, the provisions or outstanding recreation opportunities and leisure services, and the fostering of an environment which is service oriented and responsive to public needs.

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Arborist firms from across New Jersey provided work crews, equipment, and expertise. Colonial Park was selected for the volunteer effort based on its extensive collections of shade trees, ornamental trees, and conifers within the Colonial Park Gardens, Arboretum, and shrub collection.

Many of the mature trees growing at Colonial Park were critically in need of health and safety pruning and some trees suffering from serious pest and disease problems required removal. Completion of the work day made Colonial Park and the Gardens safer for staff and park patrons. Colonial Park and Colonial Park Gardens were closed to the public during the day long initiative.

The NJAISA accepts applications for its annual Work Day from numerous public gardens, arboreta, universities and park systems throughout New Jersey.  Somerset County Park Commission was awarded the 2011 NJAISA Work Day at Skillman Park which took place in March 2012.

The NJAISA was founded in 1974. There are currently over 600 members in the chapter including commercial, consulting, municipal, and utility arborists, researchers and educators, horticulturists, and individuals interested in the proper and professional care of trees and landscapes.