March 9, 2022

WJNA Meeting to Discuss April ARTS, Trees, Witherspoon St.

By Donald Gilpin

“Thirty Days of Creativity” in April, Princeton’s urban forestry program, and the Witherspoon Street corridor from Green Street to Franklin Avenue are all on the agenda for the next meeting of the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association (WJNA) on Saturday, March 19 at 1 p.m. at the Arts Council of Princeton (ACP).

ACP Executive Director Adam Welch will be telling the WJNA gathering all about April ARTS, which begins on April 1 with the launch of the Princeton Piano Project and a happy hour kick-off at the ACP, and culminates with the Princeton Porchfest on April 23.

“While Communiversity provided a fun afternoon for Princetonians and visitors alike, April ARTS will allow us to celebrate for an entire month,” said Welch. During the Porchfest event, locals and visitors will walk and bike around town from 12 to 6 p.m., enjoying live music at more than 10 different porches.

“Porchfest, though not original to us, is handmade for Princeton,” Welch added. “This is truly an opportunity for our town to embrace the creativity and hospitality of our community.”  A schedule of performers and their locations will be available at

As part of the Princeton Piano Project, seven pianos have been donated by community members and will be transformed by local artists, Welch said.  On Friday, April 1, the pianos will be placed throughout town for the community to enjoy. Dozens of arts and cultural events will be presented by ACP and local businesses and organizations throughout the month.

In a March 7 email, Welch commented further on April ARTS. “It’s local-friendly and the perfect way to usher in a new season of creativity and possibility,” he wrote. “And, of course, we thank Princeton University, whose support has made April ARTS possible.”

Also featured at the March 19 WJNA meeting will be a presentation by Princeton Deputy Administrator and Municipal Engineer Deanna Stockton on the right of way improvement plans for the Witherspoon Street corridor. 

Stockton said that her presentation will focus on the second phase of the Witherspoon Street project, from Green Street to Franklin Avenue. The Municipal Department of Engineering is looking towards a construction contract by November 2022. 

Stockton will discuss construction plans, with a focus on how to accommodate all users, and how to maximize benefits to the community and other users of that section of Witherspoon Street.

Plans for planting new trees, extending stormwater piping, and repairing and replacing old sidewalks and more will be included in Stockton’s presentation to the WJNA gathering. She will also be discussing the Witherspoon Street Project on March 22 at a meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission and at a Princeton Council meeting on March 28. She noted that the question of bike lanes on Witherspoon would probably be one of the issues raised at the meetings.

The third presenter at the March 19 WJNA gathering will be Princeton Municipal Arborist Taylor Sapudar. He will discuss Princeton’s urban forestry program, including the issues of tree removal and replacement, choosing the right tree for the right location, common insects and diseases, and the rights of utility companies related to tree pruning. 

Sapudar noted that this meeting will provide an opportunity for residents to offer suggestions for beautifying the neighborhood and creating a natural streetscape ambience.

A WJNA press release stated that “While the WJNA conducts meetings for the benefit of residents and businesses in the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood, all interested parties are encouraged and welcome to attend this and subsequent meetings on topics of interest to all neighborhoods and the community at large.”