BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Families were greeted by live music as they gathered for Bridgewater’s Arbor Day Tree Jamboree Celebration on a brisk morning at Kids Street Park, on Commons Way April 27.

Courtesy of the Shade Tree Board, the township distributed 400 tree seedlings to residents at the Arbor Day Celebration.  Five different varieties of trees were distributed, Sweetgum, White Oak, Black Walnut, Eastern Red Cedar and White Pine.

Shade Tree board member Niren Choudhury said these varieties were selected because they are recommended for planting in the spring.

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The Shade Tree Board also distributes trees to residents at the Tree 4 All festival in the fall. Volunteer members of the board work to ensure the preservation of trees in Bridgewater and to revive families of trees that are low in number.

Shade Tree board members Barbara Ronca and Jean Garzillo joined Choudhury and Mayor Dan Hayes for a dedication and ceremonial planting of an Autumn Blaze Maple, added to the grove of trees at the park. The maple was donated by Sanofi US.  

Hayes thanked members of the Shade Tree Board and read an Arbor Day proclamation prior to inviting the children in attendance to pick up a shovel and take part in the planting.  

“Trees give us so much, food, shelter for animals, shade, they help replenish oxygen,” he said. “They are incredibly vital to us.”

The occasion also marked Bridgewater’s 23rd year being recognized as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

“Bridgewater is a leadership community,” Hayes said. “On Arbor Day, we join with towns throughout the country to celebrate the role of trees in our community.”

Hayes also read a story to the children, “Little Acorn Grows Up,” one of several Arbor Day-themed books that the Bridgewater library brought to the event. Before taking their trees home, families enjoyed refreshments and music, and visited Martenette Farms mobile vegetable stand, on site to promote the Bridgewater Farmer’s Market.  

The farmer’s market will run every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 23 through Oct. 20 in the Bridgewater library parking lot, on Vogt Drive.