Watch out world, New Jersey is leading the way with a new line-up of innovative sustainability projects ready for implementation. Wind turbines, electric vehicle charging stations, school food composting and water conservation outreach programs—all of these projects, and more, have been added to the list of initiatives that the Sustainable Jersey Small Grants program is funding.
The impact of the 2010 and 2009 projects funded through the Sustainable Jersey Small Grants program is tremendous. Municipalities are quickly finding out that the Sustainable Jersey program helps towns improve efficiency, cut waste and stimulate the local economy, while improving the environment, just when they need it most.
Half of New Jersey’s municipalities (50 percent—or 285 towns across all 21 counties) are registered and are now working on becoming Sustainable Jersey certified. Sustainable Jersey is a voluntary program managed by the New Jersey State League of Municipalities’ Mayors’ Committee for a Green Future and the Municipal Land Use Center at The College of New Jersey.
Sustainable Jersey Small Grants Program This is the second year that Walmart has funded the Sustainable Jersey Small Grants program, bringing their total contribution over two years to $420,000. These grants are an excellent example of the public and private sectors working together for the greater good.
Thirty-four New Jersey towns won a 2010 Sustainable Jersey Small Grant. Four towns received grants in the amount of $25,000 and ten towns received $10,000 grants. A total
of 20 towns won $1,000 grants to be used for capacity-building work.
$25,000 Grant Winners
Montclair Township (Essex County),
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
To stimulate the adoption of plug-in vehicles, Montclair Township will be New Jersey's first municipality to offer public, networked charging stations. Three “juice points” will be installed in a centrally-located municipal parking lot as a service for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Members of the public will have easy access to a charge-up using smart cards for electronic billing. This installation will serve as a model for other towns and is intended to be the first step toward the development of a public charging infrastructure throughout New Jersey. Montclair's downtown “juice points” are also expected to serve as an attractive amenity for shoppers, restaurants, businesses and visitors. The township will promote the new charging stations with a media campaign encouraging the public to “Get a Charge in Montclair.” Montclair Township achieved the Bronze Level of Sustainable Jersey Certification in 2009.
Chatham Township (Morris County),
School Food Composting Program
Chatham Township will begin an innovative program to compost school food waste, which is expected to be the first of its kind in the nation. The township will purchase an indoor composter that converts organic waste into high quality fertilizer in just fourteen days. The finished compost will be used by the school district's buildings and grounds department, reducing landscaping costs and watering needs in addition to reducing the district's costs for cafeteria waste disposal. The composter will be available for public viewing and will be featured in community outreach campaigns such as Chatham's existing backyard composting program, “Save It to Spade It.” The composter will also be integrated into school sustainability curricula and will be used as an educational tool for science and math classes. Chatham Township's Environmental Commission Green Team will implement this program in partnership with the School District of the Chathams and with the support of the food services management company, school cafeteria committee members and parent teacher organizations. Chatham Township achieved the Bronze Level of Sustainable Jersey Certification in 2009.
Sustainable Jersey presents Chatham Township with a $25,000 Grant. From left to right, Randall Solomon, Senior Advisor, Municipal Land Use Center at The College of New Jersey and Coordinator of Sustainable Jersey; Timothy McDonough, New Jersey State League of Municipalities Representative and Mayor of Hope; Nicole Hagner, Mayor of Chatham Township; Jennifer Hoehn, Senior Manager of Public Affairs New Jersey, Walmart Stores, Inc.; Patricia Collington, Chatham Township Environmental Commissioner; Cindy Randazzo, Director, Office of Local Government Assistance, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Long Branch City (Monmouth County),
Model Green Ordinances Plan
To implement the sustainability goals outlined in a recently adopted Master Plan, the City of Long Branch will develop a series of model green ordinances. The 2010 Master Plan incorporates the city's “green initiative,” including pursuit of Sustainable Jersey certification, to the vision that guides municipal policy, regulatory and investment decisions. The Master Plan calls for adoption of specific new ordinances including a water conservation ordinance and a requirement for all public buildings to achieve LEED-based green design standards. Expanding on the work of the Long Branch Environmental Commission, new legislation will also be developed to address small wind systems, stream buffers, tree protection, recycling, and incentives for green building technologies and sustainable site plan designs. Some of the new ordinances maybe the first of their kind in New Jersey and will serve as models for other communities.
Officials from the City of Long Branch accept the award of a $25,000 Grant from Sustainable Jersey. From left to right, Michele Bernich, Zoning Officer, City of Long Branch; Jennifer Hoehn, Senior Manager of Public Affairs New Jersey, Walmart Stores, Inc.; Adam Schneider, Mayor of City of Long Branch; Jon Bramnick, New Jersey Assemblyman, District 21; Randall Solomon, Senior Advisor, Municipal Land Use Center at The College of New Jersey and Coordinator of Sustainable Jersey; Dr. Mary Jane Celli, Councilwoman, City of Long Branch (BLUE); Cindy Randazzo, Director, Office of Local Government Assistance, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection;
Kathleen Billings, Councilwoman, City of Long Branch (PINK)
Rutherford Borough (Bergen County),
Community Teaching Garden
Rutherford Borough will complete a Community Teaching Garden that will serve as a functional and beautiful showcase for sustainable living. The Rutherford Green Team began work on the Erie Street Garden in February 2010 and has already created an outdoor classroom, a shade tree nursery, composting program, and six raised vegetable beds. The Sustainable Jersey grant will be used to implement the second phase of the project. Following an environmental soil analysis, accessibility upgrades will include recycled rubber sidewalks to allow wheelchair access and raised beds that will serve special needs residents participating in horticultural therapy. An irrigation system, green roof potting shed, utility shed, and garden benches will complete the garden infrastructure. Community volunteers will maintain the garden and regular transportation will be provided between the garden and the local Senior Activity Center. Public outreach will include a website and garden blog as well as a series of sustainable gardening lectures and demonstrations in cooperation with the Bergen County Gardeners. Rutherford Borough achieved the Bronze Level of Sustainable Jersey Certification in 2009.
$10,000 Sustainable Jersey Small Grant Winners
Ten communities won grants in the amount of $10,000: Bay Head Borough, Berkeley Heights Township, Bradley Beach Borough, Englewood City, Ewing Township, Galloway Township, Middletown Township, Ocean City, Tenafly Borough and West Orange Township. An overview of each grant winning projects is available on the Sustainable Jersey web site (www.SustainableJersey.com).
$1,000 Sustainable Jersey Capacity-Building Grants New this year, the capacity-building grants provide program support funds to build the capabilities of the Green Teams. All towns participating in Sustainable Jersey are required to have a Green Team to lead and coordinate the sustainability activities of the community. Twenty communities were awarded $1,000 capacity-building grants: Alloway Township, Chester Township, Franklin Lakes Borough, Haddon Heights Borough, Hammonton Town, Hardwick Township, Highlands Borough, Hopewell Valley, Livingston Township, Lower Alloways Creek Township, Lower Township, Maplewood Township, Mendham Township, Mount Holly Township,
Mullica Township, Netcong Borough, Northfield City, Peapack-Gladstone Borough, River Vale Township and Roseland Borough.
Sustainable Jersey Awards Luncheon at NJLM Annual Conference Want to learn more about Sustainable Jersey and meet the town leaders that are implementing these innovative sustainability projects? Join us for the Sustainable Jersey awards luncheon at the NJLM Annual Conference on November 16, 2010. Municipal leaders and Green Team members will be honored. In addition to special key note speakers, the top achieving municipalities that have made outstanding accomplishments will be recognized. Awards will be presented in the following categories: Sustainability Champions, Leadership, Innovation, Creative Communities and Collaboration. For more information, visit www.sustainablejersey.com.