West Orange community celebrates Arbor Day at Gregory School

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — West Orange Township came together with Gregory Elementary School on April 28 to plant a Japanese lilac tree and celebrate Arbor Day.

Mayor Robert Parisi, Assistant Director of Public Works Nick Salese, township forester John Linson and Councilwoman Susan McCartney joined with Gregory Elementary School Principal Michelle Thompson to acknowledge the importance of trees to the environment. The first-ever American Arbor Day was held in Nebraska in 1872 when the state planted one million trees.

West Orange has been recognized as a “Tree City, USA” for 21 years and has also held a Sustainable Jersey Bronze Certification since 2013. In 2015, the West Orange Energy Commission became the West Orange Environmental Commission, making the township eligible to apply for various environmental grants.

At the event, Linson read and presented an Arbor Day township proclamation to Thompson. The fifth-grade band performed “America the Beautiful” and the fifth-grade chorus performed “This Land is Your Land” and “Dance of the Willows.”

“What a beautiful Arbor Day it is,” Mayor Parisi said as all of Gregory School stood outside with the sun shining and breeze blowing. Fifth-grade students also received tree saplings to plant at home.

Next year’s Arbor Day celebration will be held at Washington Elementary School.

Photos Courtesy of WOSD