The Department of Environmental Protection has awarded more than $1.5 million in grants to 32 municipalities across the state including one for Interlaken.
The awards, $1,564,000 in total, are being issued by the New Jersey Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry program through Community Stewardship Incentive Program (CSIP) grants. These grants are designed to promote stewardship of community forests and trees through the implementation of Community Forestry Management Plans.
Interlaken is one of five communities to receive a Resiliency Planning Grant. Interlaken’s grant is for $10,000.
The specific goals of Interlaken’s project include a Comprehensive Tree Inventory and Risk Tree Assessments, as well as any Insect and Disease Management recommendations. Trees that will be evaluated shade the towns’ approximate 8 miles of roadway, as well as its pocket parks and Arboretum.
Interlaken has a very active Shade Tree Commission spearheaded by Co-Chairs Marguerite Dalton and Jodi Heinz.
“It is an exciting time for Interlaken. Our community prides itself on its forest canopy. We lost a lot of trees and had substantial damage during Hurricane Sandy. Being able to implement this program will allow us the tools to evaluate exactly where we are with our trees. Armed with this information, we can take the necessary steps with the trees we have now and also plan for the future,” Heinz said.
The town has hired William Brash Jr. of Shelterwood Forest Managers, LLC in Freehold to provide all services associated with the CSIP grant. He will also make recommendations for specific trees to plant in less shaded areas.
The CSIP grant will be explained in full at Interlaken’s next Shade Tree Meeting, which will be held Oct. 13 at 7:30 at Boro Hall, 100 Grasmere Ave. Interlaken. The public is nvited to attend and hear about this program.