Arbor Day Ceremony Beautifies the Grounds of the Lakewood MUA
This May, Lakewood celebrated Arbor Day and its 35 consecutive year of being designated a Tree City USA by planting a 10-foot Japanese Stewartia tree (Stewartia pseudocamilia) on the grounds of the Lakewood, MUA (Municipal Utilities Authority), 390 New Hampshire Avenue, Lakewood. The Arbor Day planting was sponsored by the Lakewood Shade Tree Commission and Lakewood Township, with help from the Lakewood Public Works Department.
Lakewood Mayor Menashe Miller read a proclamation in honor of Arbor Day and presented it to Stanley Crnobori, Chairman of Shade Tree Commission, at the planting. Craig Theibault, vice chairman of the Shade Tree Commission; Virginia Demeo, member of Shade Tree Commission; Committeemen Meir Lichtenstein and Michael D’Elia; Justin Flancbaum, executive director of the MUA (Municipal Utilities Authority); and Yaakov Wenger, publisher of The Lakewood Shopper, also attended the ceremony.
In past years, trees have been planted at township fire companies, EMS, Lakewood Public Works and the BlueClaws’ stadium. Four years ago, the Arbor Day ceremony took place at the Clarke School; three years it was at the Oak Street School; two years ago it was at the Spruce Street School.
The first celebration of Arbor Day in the United States took place in 1872. The holiday, held on the last Friday in April, was created to encourage individuals and groups to plant trees and realize their importance.
Lakewood has embraced that concept, holding Arbor Day ceremonies and planting hundreds of trees over the years. Craig J. Theibault, vice chairman of the Lakewood Shade Tree Commission said, “You know what they say, ‘The best time to plant a tree is 30 years ago; the second best time is today.’”
Crnobori is a retired corporate executive whose career spanned 40 years with several prominent Fortune 100 companies operating within the global food manufacturing industry, one of which was The Coca-Cola Company. He was a member of the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command and became a Licensed Master/Captain under a civilian status with the U.S. Merchant Marine/U.S.Coast Guard, part of our Homeland Security operation. In 2012 he completed the Master Gardener curriculum, offered through Rutgers University Agricultural extension office.
Crnobori said, “My desire to be a part of the Lakewood Shade Tree Commission stems from being a member of the Arbor Day Foundation coupled with a life-long love of trees and a compelling drive to protect them for the sake of our environment and generations to follow.”
Theibault, who holds a B. S. degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture, has been a member of the Ocean County Shade Tree Commission since 1992. Besides serving on the Shade Tree Commission locally, Theibault has also served as a member of the N.J. Community Forestry Council, a 20-member advisory board to the State Forester, since 1999.