HANOVER TOWNSHIP — Mountview Road School third graders did not let rainy weather dampen their enthusiasm for trees as they joined Hanover township and school officials for an indoor Arbor Day celebration on April 26. The special guests were welcomed to Town Hall by Mayor Ron Francioli, who presented them with an Arbor Day Proclamation from the Township Committee. Deputy Mayor and Green Team member John Ferramosca engaged the children with a show-and-tell session, inviting them to guess how many trees can be saved by reducing, reusing, and properly recycling common household paper products.
Using a live Kwanzan cherry tree identical to one recently planted at Veterans Memorial Park to commemorate Arbor Day, Rich Wolowicz, the Township’s Forester/Arborist, spoke to the kids about how important trees are to the environment. From roots to leaves, the students got a firsthand look at the parts that make up trees and how they work together for growth. To give the children an idea of how big the Kwanzan cherry tree will get when it matures, Police Chief Mark Roddy obligingly stood next to it for scale, as Forester Rich described how the tree will increase in height and width in the coming years.
The students, who shared stories they wrote and sang a song about trees, were joined by Mountview Road teachers Renee Lisewski, Heather Rizzo, and Caitlin Vassoler, Principal Carmen Bellino, School Superintendent Mike Wasko, and Director of Curriculum Aaron Wasserman. In addition to the Township’s forester and Police Chief, Department of Public Works’ Superintendent Brian Foran, DPW staff members Pete Giordano, Brian DiPrimo, Project Coordinator Shelby Snow, and Community Affairs/Public Policy Coordinator Robin Dente also participated.
To thank the students for helping commemorate Arbor Day and reinforce the environmental message municipal officials conveyed, the Township gave each third grader a reusable, insulated lunch bag and a Norway Spruce tree seedling to plant at home with their families. The children gave the Township something invaluable in return – a name for the newly planted Kwanzan cherry tree at Veterans Memorial Park. When Forester Rich asked them what they thought the ornamental cherry should be called, amid offers of “Bob,” “Donut” and “Pinky,” Township officials grafted two of their suggestions together and have dubbed the tree, “Cher-Groot!”
Cher-Groot! will flower every spring, and when mature, will reach a height between 20 and 26 feet tall. Members of the public are cordially invited to visit Veterans’ Memorial Park to watch her blossom and grow.