The Hopewell Borough Economic Development Committee, in partnership with the Sourland Conservancy, is proud to announce their first Community Tree Decorating Contest. The community is invited to help decorate! A total of 30 native red cedar trees were purchased jointly by Hopewell Borough and the Sourland Conservancy. Volunteers have planted them in the Borough’s planters on Broad Street, Railroad Place, and Seminary Avenue. “This is a wonderful opportunity for residents, visitors, nonprofits, civic organizations, and businesses to celebrate our community,” said Heidi Wilenius, chair of the economic development committee. “I’m excited to see the creative decorations. Celebration of a wide range of interests, faiths, and cultures is appreciated and encouraged.” Voting will begin on Small Business Saturday, November 25th, and will continue through Sunday, December 17th. Ballots may be completed at any one of three ballot drop-off locations listed at www.downtownhopewell.com. There will be no on-line voting available. Visiting Downtown Hopewell is part of the fun! The trees will adorn downtown Hopewell throughout the winter. In the spring, they will be planted nearby in the forest by Sourland Conservancy volunteers in support of the organization’s ongoing forest restoration project. “Thanks to all of the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to bring this idea to life,” said Laurie Cleveland, Sourland Conservancy’s Executive Director. “These trees are a symbol of eternity. They will brighten our holidays then move to the forest to help reduce flooding, sequester carbon, provide critical habitat, and ensure a healthy legacy for future generations.” Visit www.DowntownHopewell.com for more information or to register. Registrations will be accepted on a rolling basis until all trees have been claimed. Registrants will be assigned a tree location via email. The committee will try to accommodate location requests. Contestants are encouraged to use sustainable decorations that are wildlife-friendly. Groups are encouraged to visit their tree often to keep it looking its best, especially after poor weather. If a heavy storm is expected, some preventive maintenance and preparation is advised. All decorations must be removed by January 8, 2024. Prizes will be donated by local merchants. Please email [email protected] with any questions.