MORRIS COUNTY — With spring in full bloom, there were plenty of reasons to celebrate Earth Day in Morris County this past weekend as the Commissioners visited several locations where events and ceremonies were hosted.
“Earth Day reminds us to take responsible actions towards protecting our planet for present and future generations,” remarked Director Krickus. “Morris County also celebrates the 40th anniversary of our farmland preservation program, which has preserved more than 8,200 acres at 142 farms.”
The Morris County Library hosted a tree planting ceremony on Saturday morning in conjunction with Atlantic Health Services and the Morris County Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Two Forest Pansy Redbud trees, a beautiful flowering tree native to New Jersey, was purchased by Atlantic Health System from Cerbo’s Parsippany Greenhouse and planted in front of the library on Hanover Avenue in Whippany.
Director Krickus discussed the different programs that Morris County offers to preserve and conserve the environment. Carolyn Brown-Dancy, Executive Director of Health & Safety-Sustainability for Atlantic Health System, also spoke about the importance of Earth Day as the trees were planted. A Morris County Shade Tree Division work crew, led by Tree Maintenance Supervisor Neil Cortese, handled the planting.
The Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills hosted an Earth Day Cleanup event this past Saturday, where Director Krickus and Commissioner Thomas Mastrangelo helped Mayor Barberio, Parsippany Council members, and residents of all ages clean up around the Boonton Reservoir, downtown Lake Hiawatha and other areas of town. Parsippany’s Earth Day Cleanup was organized by Parsippany High School graduate Noah Lustig.
“Morris County has a long tradition of protecting the environment and fostering preservation in general. We have the largest county park system in New Jersey, and we have well-established programs dedicated each year to reserving more open space, our farmland, and even our heritage. I’m proud to be part of it,” said Commissioner Mastrangelo.
Morris County’s Open Space Trust played a critical role in helping Chester Township purchase a 45-acre parcel of Black River Fields, which was officially dedicated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday evening. The Commissioners approved a $416,250 grant in November 2019.
Director Krickus spoke at the field dedication led by Chester Mayor Mike Inganamort, who was also joined by Council member Tim Drag and the Chester Middle School boys’ lacrosse team.
“Our county remains beautiful thanks to our efforts to preserve our land and parks. It’s through important programs, like our Open Space, Farmland Preservation, and Flood Mitigation programs, that we help sustain our county’s bucolic surroundings,” stated Director Krickus.
After years of soccer and lacrosse matches on sloped grounds, Chester’s young athletes and recreational players can finally enjoy their sports on a wide-open, level playing field in a park that will be preserved for many generations. Morris County has the largest county park system in New Jersey, with more than 353 miles of trails — and each year, more acreage is added to the nearly 18,000 acres of Open Space that have been preserved over 30 years.
This year’s nationwide Earth Day theme was “Invest in our Planet.” Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22 that serves as a poignant reminder of the significance the natural landscape and wildlife play in the health of our planet and sustaining all life. Morris County taxpayers invest in protecting our environment locally by overwhelmingly supporting yearly preservation initiatives.