BERNARDS TWP., NJ - Bernards Township has announced it will fulfill a local initiative of planting 5,000 trees to replace those lost to "Superstorm Sandy" with a public dedication of the 5,000th tree on this Arbor Day.

Bernards Township had launched "Five in 5!" in response to the devastation of so many trees that were destroyed or damaged when Sandy struck the region in October 2012. The Somerset Hills area was hit with particularly strong winds. The stated goal was to plant 5,000 trees within five years of the storm.

The dedication is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 29 (Arbor Day), in the parking lot by the pool at Pleasant Valley Park off Valley Road in Basking Ridge.

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Free trees will be handed out to the first 40 residents who attend, according to the township announcement.

The initiative was boosted by efforts from such supporters as the Bernards Township shade tree commission. Back to Nature Home and Garden Center in Basking Ridge gave away many hundreds of free trees to help promote the cause throughout the past few years.

The announcement urged residents to join the celebration.