'Pucks for Parks' Sprouts in Essex County

New Jersey Devils and PwC plant trees in Montclair's Iris Gardens.

Contributed photo
Contributed photo

The New Jersey Devils and PwC US joined the New Jersey Tree Foundation and Essex County representatives Wednesday at the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens in Upper Montclair to plant new trees as part of their “Pucks for Parks” initiative.

Devils Arena Entertainment Senior Vice President of Community Investment Jim Leonard, PwC Partner and New York Metro Green Team Leader Ed Heitin, New Jersey Tree Foundation Executive Director Lisa Simms and Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. participated in a ceremony to commemorate the event.

“Presby Gardens is known as the ‘rainbow on the hill,’ and the addition of these trees will contribute to its natural beauty,” DiVincenzo said. “We appreciate the New Jersey Devils, PwC and the New Jersey Tree Foundation for bringing their Pucks for Parks program to Essex County.”

Through “Puck for Parks,” the Devils and PwC are working together to enrich New Jersey communities by helping sustain the environment and provide green space for generations. 

The multi-year program was created in 2013, with a commitment by the Devils and PwC, including the help of Devils staff, PwC partners and staff, and community volunteers, to plant at least two mature trees in a New Jersey park or green space for every Devils win during the 2013-14 regular season. Depending on the environmental needs of each location, additional trees and vegetation of various sizes will also be rooted, including along coastal and river areas to help prevent erosion.

“Working with outstanding organizations like PwC and the New Jersey Tree Foundation to help build a healthy and more sustainable environment is essential in our role as a leader in the community," said Leonard, senior vice president of community investment for Devils Arena Entertainment. “We take great pride in every opportunity to give back and look forward to planting many more trees in the years to come.”

The new trees planted at Presby Memorial Iris Garden will replace those that were lost or damaged during Superstorm Sandy. New trees will help bolster the iris population by enhancing natural pollination activity and providing additional pollination avenues in the popular garden. The trees will also help support the Garden’s educational arbor program, which was started in 2001.

Located at the base of the 7 1/2-acre Mountainside Park, the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens contain more than 14,000 irises of approximately 3,000 varieties and produce more than 100,000 blooms over the course of the season.

“PwC is committed to making our communities better places to live and work,” said Brendan Dougher, managing partner of the PwC New York Metro Market. “The Pucks for Parks program is an important part of our firm’s environmental and sustainability efforts and we’re excited to team with the New Jersey Devils and the New Jersey Tree Foundation today for the first of many tree plantings in our New Jersey communities.”

Pictured in photo from left: Ed Heitin, PwC partner and New York Metro Green Team Leader; Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., Essex County Executive; Lisa Simms, Executive Director of the New Jersey Tree Foundation; Jim Leonard, Senior Vice President of Community Investment, Devils Arena Entertainment; and Devils alumni Ken Daneyko, Grant Marshall and Bruce Driver.


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