East Orange School District gets grant to plant trees at schools

Photos Courtesy of East Orange School District
Principal of Gordon Parks Academy Sharon Alsbrook-Davis with students outside the school.

The East Orange School District has been awarded a Trees for Schools grant.

The Trees for Schools program is an outcome of a partnership between the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), The College of New Jersey, and Sustainable Jersey, which aims to highlight the importance of collaborations in addressing environmental challenges.

This collaborative effort has led to meaningful and impactful projects, which serve as an exemplary model for other communities, highlighting the benefits of investing in green infrastructure to obtain tangible benefits for both the environment and the community, according to a press release from the East Orange School District.

The initiative involves 22 other public school districts, two public charter schools, and nine college and university campuses; its goal is to mitigate climate change and its effects by planting over 3,000 trees throughout New Jersey.

The grant is geared to enhance the aesthetics of neighborhoods and benefit areas that lack trees, which often experience high temperatures due to excessive pavement.

The district has planted 99 trees across various campuses, including Dionne Warwick, Ecole Toussaint Louverture, Mildred Barry Garvin, STEM Academy, Whitney E. Houston, Cicely Tyson Performing and Fine Arts Middle/High, and Gordon Parks. Additionally, trees provide shade, habitats for
animals and insects, and excellent educational opportunities for students to learn about biodiversity, ecology, and environmental conservation.

“We are honored and excited to be a part of the Trees for Schools Program, which signifies our commitment to environmental sustainability,” said SBA Marissa McKenzie.

“This program provides a unique opportunity to enrich the educational experience of our students. By bringing trees to our schools, we improve the local environment and provide hands-on learning opportunities about ecology, conservation, and the importance of green spaces. We are committed to ensuring that this program flourishes and leaves a lasting impact on both the environment and the schools involved.”