In celebration of Earth Day, the Verona Environmental Commission has scheduled a clean up of Grove Park and a tree seedling giveaway there on Saturday, April 13, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Grove Park, which is Verona’s newest park, is located at 42 Grove Avenue across from Reid Place.
The free tree seedlings will be packaged in 8″ recyclable tubes and are greenhouse grown by the New Jersey state Forest Service. While the VEC doesn’t yet know what sort of trees it will get from the state, in years past, it has had Flowering Dogwoods, White Pines, Red Oaks, Eastern Redbuds and Sweet Gum trees.
“We invite the public to come and help with the clean up effort or just get your free tree seedlings,” says VEC Chairperson Jessica Pearson. “All students are welcome.”
Volunteers should wear long pants and work boots, and bring a reusable water bottle. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Minors under age 18 must have a signed waiver, which is available at the event and at www.veronaec.org.
The VEC, Junior Woman’s Club of Verona and Verona Historical Society joined forces in 2015 to create Grove Park as a nature preserve that also preserves some of Verona’s history. The site was the homestead of Dr. Henry B. Whitehorne, the namesake of Verona’s original high school (which is now our middle school). Whitehorne’s home, built just after the Civil War, was destroyed by fire in the early 20th century and the land was eventually deeded to the town. The groups cleaned the woods of years of debris, opened a walking trail and, with the help of Verona’s Department of Public Works, installed signage and benches.