Twp. unites to save trees and money

Song-Wei Orchids donates evergreens to township park


UPPER FREEHOLD UPPER FREEHOLD UPPER FREEHOLD — Reed Park is now landscaped with 45 evergreen trees at a minimal cost to the township, thanks to a landowner’s donation and the work of township officials.

Gary Liu, the general manager of Song-Wei Orchids, said his company purchased a former nursery on Route 539. The area where the trees were located will be the site of greenhouses for the business, and rather than just destroy them, he contacted township officials.

Deputy Mayor Bob Faber got in touch with Recreation Committee member John Swanekamp about placing the trees at Reed Park. Faber said Swanekamp and the Recreation Committee got the project going.

Faber and Swanekamp went to the site with a representative from V&G Nurseries, Cream Ridge, who dug the trees out. Swanekamp tagged all the trees, and Faber had employees from the Department of Public Works load and transport the evergreens to Reed Park, where they planted them.

“It was a big savings to the township,” said Faber, who estimated the cost of purchasing trees for landscaping would have been $4,000. Instead, the Recreation Committee paid $700 for V&G Nurseries to dig the trees, he said.

The entire replanting process took a little over a week, according to Faber. The trees have been planted as a buffer along the rear end of the property on Route 526, adjacent to a neighboring housing development in Allentown.

Liz Kwasnik, chairwoman of the township’s Open Space Committee, said Liu’s donation is a wonderful example of how trees and dollars are saved.

“It also brought the best out in various committees and organizations within the community that connected to make this happen,” she said.