MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Park Commission was recently awarded a $12,406.50 Roots for Rivers Grant to reforest a floodplain along a tributary of the North Branch of the Whippany River at Central Park of Morris County in Parsippany. The grant funded the purchase of 1,471 native trees and shrubs, as well as tubes and support stakes to protect the plantings from deer. The Roots for Rivers Reforestation Grant was funded by The Nature Conservancy and The Watershed Institute and works towards a goal to plant 100,000 trees in New Jersey floodplains by 2020.
The project site sits on the former Greystone Park State Psychiatric Hospital property, which is now managed by the Morris County Park Commission for passive recreational uses and conservation purposes. The 4-acre reforestation area is abandoned pasture land that became deteriorated by non-native, invasive plant species. Reforestation of the floodplain with native trees and shrubs will help filter water to improve water quality, absorb floodwaters, cool the stream for fish, and provide quality habitat for insects and wildlife.
To date, the Morris County Park Commission has worked with over 90 volunteers from Jersey Cares, the New York Red Bulls, Covanta Energy, Novartis, and the Whippany River Watershed Access Committee to plant and protect the trees. Species include a variety of oaks and maples, black gum, smooth alder, and American sycamore.
Volunteers are still needed to help complete the project. Any interested volunteers are encouraged to contact the Morris County Park Commission at (973) 326-7600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Morris County Park Commission features one of the region’s best park systems in the state of New Jersey. It currently protects and maintains 20,197 acres at 38 distinct sites plus offers a year-round calendar of events and activities for all to enjoy!