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Posted Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Park Commission Gets “Roots for River” Grant for Whippany Watershed

The Morris County Park Commission has undertaken a project to plant nearly 1,500 native trees and shrubs to reforest a floodplain along a tributary of the North Branch of the Whippany River at Central Park of Morris County in Parsippany.

Volunteers planting at the Park Commission's former Greystone tract

Volunteers planting at the Park Commission’s former Greystone tract

The project is being financed by a $12,407 Roots for Rivers Reforestation Grant from the Nature Conservancy and the Watershed Institute, which have a joint goal of planting 100,000 trees in New Jersey floodplains by 2020.

In addition to 1,471 native trees and shrubs, the Park Commission also purchased tubes and support stakes needed to protect the plantings from white-tail deer.

The project site sits on the former Greystone Park State Psychiatric Hospital property, which is now managed by the Morris County Park Commission for passive recreational uses and conservation purposes. The four-acre reforestation area is being done on abandoned pastureland that became deteriorated by non-native, invasive plant species.

To date, the Morris County Park Commission has worked with more than 90 volunteers from Jersey Cares, the New York Red Bulls, Covanta Energy, Novartis, and the Whippany River Watershed Action Committee to plant and protect the trees. Species being planted include a variety of oaks and maples, black gum, smooth alder, and American sycamore.

The long-term goal of the Nature Conservancy and Watershed Institute project is to use trees and plants to filter water to improve water quality, absorb floodwaters, cool the stream for fish, and provide quality habitat for insects and wildlife.

Volunteers are still needed for the Park Commission effort. Interested persons are encouraged to call 973.326.7600 or visit [email protected].

Morris Parks: Volunteers Sought for Whippany Watershed Tree Planting ProjectMorris Parks: Volunteers Sought for Whippany Watershed Tree Planting Project