In 2018, we were part of a team to win a grant from Roots for Rivers offered by Sustainable Jersey and the Nature Conservancy. The team included the South Orange Environmental Commission, the South Orange Green Team and other municipal partners. The goal was to replant areas within floodplains that had lost tree cover due to lawn creation, invasive species or other impacts.
Below is a diagram showing the area we targeted for restoration. It is a recreational field called Cyhzowych Field owned by the Township of South Orange Village. Our plan selected over 600 trees and shrubs for the space. We wanted to use both trees and shrubs to create a top and middle story of growth for the area. In total, more than 1.25 acres of land was included in the reforestation project. This is a significant parcel of land considering that South Orange is highly urbanized with very little vacant or unused spaces.
Below is another diagram that explains the method we used to reforest the area. The two images to the right show the delivery of trees and shrubs to the site.
From April through June of 2018, a team of volunteers cleared the area to plant all of the new species. Below are images that show the condition of the site before and during the cleanup. Over 50 individuals of all ages helped complete the project. All of the new trees had to be protected with tree tubes and stakes.