Newark, NJ – In the heart of Newark’s North Ward, a new partnership is blossoming between the Bloomfield Avenue/Lower Broadway Business Improvement District (BID) and Essex County aimed at transforming the commercial corridor into a greener, more vibrant place to live and work. 

The new project, which was spearheaded by State Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz, centers around increasing Newark’s tree canopy and breathing new life into the bustling district. Recognizing the significant role trees play in supporting health and wellness outcomes for children and adults in urban communities, Senator Ruiz made the connection between the County Executive’s office and the BID.

“Trees are natural air purifiers that absorb harmful pollutants and significantly improve air quality for all of our residents,” said Ruiz. “I’m looking forward to working with all of our local partners and agencies to support sustainability initiatives throughout the City.”

For its part the County will donate up to 40 new trees, which will be installed by the BID’s horticulture team along the state’s oldest county road by next Spring. Work on the first phase of the project was underway this week with the installation of 26 trees along barren stretches of the streetscape with few or no trees. 

County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. lauded the effort saying, “Great partnerships like this is how we can create more sustainable and aesthetically pleasing roadways,” adding, “We’re looking to implement more stormwater management strategies like this throughout the county.” 

The BID, which is funded by assessments on the properties within the district’s boundaries, will also be responsible for maintaining the newly planted trees. PJ Calello, President of the BID, said, “We’ve budgeted for a number of beautification activities in the district, including the seasonal planting and maintenance of nearly 100 streetscape planters and hanging baskets, in addition to the new streetscape trees.”

Beyond the effort to plant more trees, North Ward Councilman, Anibal Ramos Jr., who has been a major champion of BIDs throughout the City, highlighted recent developments by saying, “The BID is getting ready to make a significant investment in the renovation of Sal Bontempo Plaza, which will include major sustainability elements,” adding, “All of these physical and environmental improvements are made possible by the great public/private partnerships we have in the North Ward and throughout the City.”

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