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June 22, 2009

Re:  Sustainable New Jersey Grants Awarded

Dear Mayor:

Earlier today, representatives of Sustainable Jersey (http://www.sustainablejersey.com/) announced the 14 New Jersey municipalities that have won grants for sustainable projects funded by Wal-Mart.  Excited mayors and community members from towns that submitted applications were present to learn the winners at a press event held at the State House Annex in Trenton. 

Grants in the amount of $25,000 were awarded to four communities: Hardwick, Livingston, Morristown and Trenton.  Ten $10,000 grants were distributed to Asbury Park, Eastampton, Highland Park, Lindenwold, Maplewood, Milltown, Ocean (Monmouth County), Somers Point, Summit and Vineland.  Winning projects range from a wind turbine, to rain water and community food gardens, to recycling and energy community outreach program.

A core element of the Sustainable Jersey program is to direct funding and resources to municipalities to aid them in making progress. Over 100 municipalities submitted applications before the May 7, 2009 deadline.  “In little over two months, towns were able to pass two formal municipal resolutions in support of Sustainable Jersey, identify the concrete actions they wanted to implement and then submit a completed application, “ said Randall Solomon, Executive Director of New Jersey Sustainable State Institute at Rutgers University. “Clearly the grant funding has been an important incentive for towns pursuing sustainable projects and certification through the Sustainable Jersey program.”

Proposals were judged by an independent Blue Ribbon Selection Committee that included key leadership from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, PSE&G, Rutgers University, Leadership New Jersey, Verizon Communications, Interlocal Municipal Co-Op & Management Advisory Service, New Jersey Future, Whitman Strategy Group and the Regional Plan Association.  "These towns deserve to be commended for their leadership in seeking sustainable solutions to everyday challenges. At a time when State funding for innovative ideas is extremely constrained, the Sustainable Jersey grants will enable some of the best projects from throughout New Jersey to serve as models for the 21st Century," said Tom Dallessio, Executive Director, Leadership New Jersey.

To promote sustainability and public/private partnerships, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the New Jersey League of Municipalities Education Foundation and the Mayors Committee for a Green Future established the Sustainable Jersey Small Grants Program.  "Wal-Mart recognizes the need for our towns and cities to focus on becoming more sustainable,” said Jennifer Hoehn, Senior Manager of Public Affairs New Jersey for Wal-Mart. “In these economic times, it is wonderful to be able to provide these municipalities with the opportunity to reach that goal for their communities."

New Jersey is one of the first states in the nation to have a municipal certification program for sustainability.  The statewide program was created by the New Jersey State League of Municipalities’ Mayors Committee for a Green Future, the New Jersey Sustainable State Institute at Rutgers, the Municipal Land Use Center at the College of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Rutgers Center for Green Building, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and many others.  Since the effort went live on February 26, 2009, over 180 communities from across the state have registered with Sustainable Jersey to date, indicating their commitments to go green. 

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

Click here for Video of the Awards Ceremony

Sustaining the Garden State - Reuters News

Windmill for Landis Sewerage Authority in Vineland - NJ.com

Asbury Park to Receive $10,000 Green Grant - Coaster.net

Traveling the right path for clean energy - The DailyJournal.com

N.J. Sewage Authority To Receive Wind Turbine - Alternative Energy

Grant to give Vineland 1st wind turbine in decades - The DailyJournal.com

 

 

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