The last time “Jersey Shore” and “Morristown” shared headlines, Snooki was poised to shoot her next reality TV show in town.
That story stirred some controversy before it blew over. This time, the connection is less likely to make waves. In fact, it’s designed to stop them: Morristown is preparing to send its discarded Christmas trees to Island Beach State Park to help re-create protective dunes that were washed away by Hurricane Sandy.
“It seemed like a no-brainer,” said Morristown First Lady Mary Dougherty, who saw the pilot project by the state Department of Environmental Protection mentioned on Facebook. She brought the idea to her husband, Mayor Tim Dougherty.
The Mayor called it an “honor and a privilege” to follow through.
“As Jerseyans, we love our Shore, and want to do what we can to bring it back to what it should be,” he said on Monday.
In the past, the town has hauled residents’ Christmas trees to the Lake Road recycling center, where the trees are turned to mulch. But the Mayor has asked the public works department to hold off on the mulching. At Tuesday’s town council meeting he plans to seek the council’s blessing for the DPW to transport the trees to the Shore on Friday.
The idea is for the trees to be strategically placed, end-to-end, under a little bit of sand. Over time, the wind should bury the trees. Dune grass can be planted over these mounds in the spring. State environmental experts hope the new dunes will absorb energy from future storms and minimize erosion.
“We have the trees, and it’s a wonderful way to support another community in its time of need,” said Mary Dougherty. “That’s what I love about Morristown. It’s a community that really helps others. This is a win-win.”
The First Lady added that the public can help bury the trees at Island Beach State Park on Jan. 19.