News Department

Morris County celebrates Earth Day 2024

County Commissioners Support Events that Support Our Environment

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – Earth Day had its share of ceremonies in Morris County Monday, as the County Commissioners visited various locations to celebrate the global holiday that takes place every April 22, commemorating the importance environmental protection and preservation has on the health of our planet.

Eastern Redbuds, trees donated by the Atlantic Health Foundation, were planted for Earth Day at locations in Morristown and Morris Township with the helping hands of the Morris County Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.-Pi Theta Omega, the Morris County Shade Tree Commission and other Morris County staff.

Morris County Commissioner Tayfun Selen and Administrator Deena Leary joined Carolyn Dancy, Executive Director of Safety and Sustainability with Atlantic Health, and Shade Tree Director Kris McMorland in digging the first hole with Alpha Kappa Alpha members for a tree planted at the First Baptist Church/Our Place Day Shelter in Morristown.

Later in the day, Shade Tree workers dug out spots for two additional trees planted by Alpha Kappa Alpha members at a county facility on West Hanover Avenue.

This is the second consecutive year that Atlantic Health Foundation has donated trees to be planted on Morris County properties. Last year, the Alpha Kappa Sorority joined Shade Tree staffers and County Commissioner John Krickus in planting trees at the Morris County Library.

Commissioner Deputy Director Stephen Shaw and Commissioner Krickus also stopped by Madison today, where U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill held a press conference to deliver a $4.1 million check to assist the borough in preserving a 51-acre forest section of Drew University known as Drew Forest. Additionally, the state of New Jersey has committed $2 million towards the preservation effort.

Morris County was the first to contribute to the cause in 2023, when the Commissioners approved $5 million of open space funding in November 2023. It represents the second largest award in Open Space Trust Fund program history.

“Something you quickly learn in public service, you can’t accomplish anything on your own. True public service is about forging partnerships and working together towards a common goal. And that’s what we have taking place here with a bipartisan effort among county, state and federal elected officials,” Shaw said.

“Any of the large land preservation efforts in Morris County involve aggregating dollars from multiple sources. It is a difficult task and one that often builds momentum as dollars start getting committed. That is why it was so vitally important to get those first Morris County dollars committed,” Shaw said.

Since 1994, Morris County Open Space Program has awarded 339 grants totaling $295 million in 38 municipalities to preserve more than 17,800 acres – an area larger than the Township of Parsippany.

Shaw noted that the county’s commitment was provided with an adopted 2024 budget of $365.3 million. By comparison, the state of New Jersey is providing $2 million with a proposed fiscal year 2025 budget of $56 Billion. The federal government, with a proposed fiscal year 2025 budget of $7.3 Trillion, is providing $4.1 million, thanks to the efforts of U.S. Rep. Sherrill.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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