The Exchange Place Alliance is planting 59 new trees in the city’s Exchange Place district, marking the largest single-location tree planting in the city this season and the largest private planting by a community group in the city. — Courtesy: Exchange Place Alliance
By Joshua Burd
Dozens of new trees are coming to Jersey City’s Exchange Place district as the latest step in the overhaul of the downtown business and transportation hub.
The Exchange Place Alliance announced recently that it was undertaking both the largest single-location tree planting of the season and the largest private planting by a community group in the city. Fully funded by the organization, the initiative will bring 59 trees to the area around the Exchange Place PATH station.
It follows the reopening of the plaza last month after a complete renovation, which included new landscaping, grasses and an earlier round of planting that added 38 trees.
“Trees add immeasurable value, especially in urban communities, and these 97 tree plantings in Exchange Place are an important addition to our overall sustainability strategies for improved public health and resiliency citywide,” Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said.
The alliance noted that it selected varied tree species because of their hardiness to a wide temperature range, the ability to withstand brackish waterfront spillover in storms and their ability to provide shade in a heavily paved area. Among the species being planted are swamp white oak, eastern redbud, linden, honey locust, sweetgum and gingko.
The project has also called for expanding tree pits to give the roots more space to grow, which has meant removing a significant amount of concrete and increasing permeability.
“This is an initiative with sustainability at its core, helping to increase the resilience of our local ecosystem,” said Elizabeth Cain, executive director of the Exchange Place Alliance. “It also has the added benefits of beautification and the improvement of this community’s quality of life. What’s more, we kept it local, as all our vendors are based in New Jersey.”
Jersey City is on track to plant more than 350 trees citywide, according to a news release.
“I’m thrilled to have partnered with the Exchange Place Alliance on this tree planting initiative,” Councilman James Solomon said, noting that more than 100 trees are coming to wards E and F.