The Sussex County Shade Tree Commission continues to serve as an example of how much can be accomplished with very minimal expenditure of funding along with the passion and ambition of volunteers willing to spend the most valuable item of all, their time.
The County of Sussex has a Shade Tree Commission, which was established in 1942 and is overseen by the County's Division of Public Works. The Commission's main goal is to be a cost effective steward of our Urban Forest. The Commission is comprised of five volunteer members, which are appointed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders, who have years of experience in urban forestry programs. Members provide expertise in tree selection, planting and care, general education, oversight of the County's Tree Bank, along with providing guidance to municipal shade tree programs.
Sussex County's Tree Bank, located behind the Main Branch of the Sussex County Library in Frankford, has supplied trees to be planted at various locations within the County. The Shade Tree Commission is in the process of expanding the diversity of the Tree Bank to help guard against the effects of future invading pests and diseases.
County Commission members also provide educational training sessions/mini-seminars, when requested, on a wide variety of topics pertaining to shade trees, including Hazardous Tree Identification. The group provides trees from the Tree Bank to area schools who wish to celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree. The Commission also provides a display of information at the New Jersey State Fair, Sussex County Farm and Horse Show as well as other community events.
Municipalities have been encouraged to establish their own Shade Tree Commissions by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry. With guidance from the County Shade Tree Commission, the Borough of Sussex has recently chosen to do just that. In a few short months, volunteers have been recruited and the Borough of Sussex now has a functioning commission. Many other towns within the County also have their own Commissions or Committees.
All in all, the Sussex County Shade Tree Commission continues to serve as an example of how much can be accomplished with minimal funding along with the passion and ambition of volunteers who are willing to spend the most valuable item of all, their own time.
If you are interested in learning more about the Sussex County Shade Tree Commission, please contact our secretary at 973-579-0430 ext. 1318.
Tom Meyer, Commission Chairman
Michelle Mezger, Secretary to the Administrator of the S.C. Dept. of Engineering and Planning