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Making New Jersey a Sustainable State: 32 Towns Receive Grants to Advance Goal; Runnemede & Gloucester City Among Area Recipients

Four $20,000 grants, eight $10,000 grants and twenty $2,000 grants were distributed to municipalities in fourteen N.J. counties.

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On June 29, 2021, Sustainable Jersey announced the thirty-two New Jersey municipalities selected to receive a Sustainable Jersey grant funded by the PSEG Foundation.

Four $20,000 grants, eight $10,000 grants and twenty $2,000 grants were distributed to municipalities in fourteen New Jersey counties.

Locally, four area towns were awarded grants.

Gloucester City was awarded $2,000 for a “Rethink your Drink” Campaign.


Merchantville Borough was awarded $2,000 for Promoting Food Security Through Edible Landscapes.

Runnemede Borough was awarded $2,000 for Green Team Support: Website Development.

East Greenwich Twp. was awarded $10,000 for an Outdoor Environmental Information Center.

An outdoor environmental information center will be built within Mickleton Park.

A pavilion will house eight bulletin boards that will include information on the Township’s sustainability initiatives and various environmental issues. QR codes will be used to link visitors to more information to guide them in practicing sustainability in their lives.

Dale Archer, Mayor, East Greenwich Township said: “Our Green Team and Environmental Commission do an excellent job planning their projects around educational value and broad community benefit. The ongoing Mickleton Park project is a perfect example. When complete, the various elements will not only help residents learn about the value of native plant life, but it will give them practical examples that can be experienced in full simply by visiting. The Township Committee and I are grateful that Sustainable Jersey has seen the value of this effort to our community and we look forward to seeing it come to fruition.”

About the Grant Awards

The grant awards will fund a range of projects including green infrastructure implementation, stormwater management and floodplain restoration; green business certification programs, buy-local campaigns, farmers markets and sustainable take-out container campaigns; community and pollinator gardens; energy efficiency upgrades and studies; educational campaigns focused on a variety of sustainability issues such as water conservation, food waste, recycling, and single-use plastics; general green team support and more.

“Congratulations to the municipalities that received grant funding today. I continue to be amazed by what is possible when elected officials, municipal staff, green teams and community members work together to create vibrant and sustainable communities,” said Randall Solomon, executive director for Sustainable Jersey. “These grants will build capacity as municipalities move sustainability programs forward.”

PSEG Foundation

The PSEG Foundation has contributed $2.5 million dollars in funding to the Sustainable Jersey grants program for municipalities and schools

“The PSEG Foundation is committed to helping build sustainable communities by empowering and investing in the people, environment and infrastructure of the communities we serve,” said Calvin Ledford, PSEG director of Corporate Social Responsibility and president of the PSEG Foundation. “Supporting Sustainable Jersey and local municipalities, schools and school districts puts resources where they’re needed to positively impact the environment and local communities, having a lasting impact on neighborhoods throughout New Jersey.”

SUSTAINABLE JERSEY GRANT RECIPIENTS 

Four $20,000 Grant Recipients: High Bridge Borough, Long Branch City, Montgomery Township and Secaucus Town

Eight $10,000 Grant Recipients: Belleville Township, East Greenwich Township, Glen Ridge Borough, Howell Township, Mount Laurel Township, Paterson City, Pompton Lakes Borough and Sayreville Borough

Twenty $2,000 Grant Recipients: Andover Township, Asbury Park City, Atlantic Highlands Borough, Berkeley Heights Township, Bogota Borough, Chesterfield Township, Colts Neck Township, East Orange City, Gloucester City, Harrington Park Borough, Jersey City, Merchantville Borough, Mountain Lakes Borough, Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, Plainfield City, Readington Township, Roosevelt Borough, Runnemede Borough, Westfield Town and Woodbridge Township Proposals were evaluated by an independent Blue-Ribbon Selection Committee.

The Sustainable Jersey grants are intended to help municipalities make progress toward a sustainable future in general, and specifically toward Sustainable Jersey certification.

Recipients of $20,000 Sustainable Jersey Project Grants

CountyMunicipalityProject TitleProject Summary
Huds-onSecaucus TownCommunity GreenhouseThe new community greenhouse will use modern technology and a sustainable design. Solar panels and a rain-harvesting irrigation system will be installed. The greenhouse will support the municipal community garden program, educational workshops and a hands-on horticulture curriculum for public school students.
Hunter-donHigh Bridge Borough“Love High Bridge” Commons Pathway RestorationThe easement between The Commons Park parking lot and Main Street will be restored in order to create a pathway that will bridge the gap between local businesses, attractions, historical sites and nature trails. This project is phase one of a town-wide, support-local initiative called “Love High Bridge”.
Mon-mouthLong Branch CityEnvironmental Resource Inventory (ERI) UpdateThe City’s 2010 ERI will be updated to reflect significant growth in commercial and residential construction. Consequences of climate change, such as flooding, pose a unique challenge to this coastal community and the ERI will be a critical planning tool to manage this sustainability issue along with others.
Somer-setMont-gomery TwpStormwater Basin Retrofit Pilot ProgramThe Township is ready to retrofit existing stormwater basins into more sustainable “bio-basins” as recommended in the 2020 ERI. A feasibility study will be used to identify target priority areas and the best design options to use in order to maximize stormwater management success and cost-effectiveness.

Recipients of $10,000 Sustainable Jersey Project Grants

CountyMunicipalityProject TitleProject Summary
Burl-ingtonMount Laurel TwpFarmers Market: Increasing Accessibility to Local FoodA farmers market will be created among the Rancocas Woods Village Shops, a crafters co-op of approximately 50 crafters and antique dealers. Not only will the market help support the local economy, it will also be outfitted to accept SNAP EBT cards in order to increase equitable access to fresh local produce.
EssexBelleville TwpWater Conserva-tion Education and Outreach ProgramA water conservation education and outreach program will be created in partnership with the Passaic Valley Sewage Commission and NJ Sports and Exposition Authority to teach residents, businesses, and school children about the importance of water stewardship. The Township will not only save water, a limited resource, but money as well.
EssexGlen Ridge BoroughWaste Reduction Education and Outreach ProgramA recycling education campaign aimed to increase community compliance with existing guidelines and educate residents on new initiatives will be created. The Borough will expand collection services to include food waste via a new drop off location, encourage “freecycling”, and educate the public on what happens to waste when it leaves the community.
Glou-cesterEast Greenwich TwpOutdoor Environment-al Info CenterAn outdoor environmental information center will be built within Mickleton Park. A pavilion will house eight bulletin boards that will include information on the Township’s sustainability initiatives and various environmental issues. QR codes will be used to link visitors to more information to guide them in practicing sustainability in their lives.
Middle-sexSayreville BoroughCommunity GardenWith help from Rutgers Cooperative Extension, the Borough will create its first community garden at its Senior Center. The space will be designed to be fully-accessible for all residents, regardless of age or ability, so that anyone wishing to practice gardening or grow their own produce will have the opportunity.
Mon-mouthHowell TwpPlastic Pollution Solutions ProjectAn education and outreach program called “Plastic Pollution Solutions” will be created to teach residents about the sustainability issues surrounding single-use disposable plastic water bottles. A public water bottle refilling station will be installed and plastic reduction activities, events, and educational materials will be created and available to residents.
Pass-aicPaterson CityInspiring Community Action on Sustain-ability InitiativesIn order to inspire community action, a variety of stakeholders including residents, schools, community groups, local non-profit organizations and businesses will be brought together to work towards the City’s sustainability goals. An inaugural green fair will be held so that residents can learn about the community’s shared vision for a sustainable Paterson and how they can get involved.
Pass-aicPompton Lakes BoroughRestoring the Shores of the Ramapo RiverAs part of its efforts to achieve the Sustainable Jersey Gold Star Standard in Water, the Borough will restore the floodplains of the Ramapo River. This project will reduce stormwater run-off and increase water quality through the replacement of invasive species with flood-resistant native plantings. An educational and outreach component will teach residents about water issues and provide project updates.

Recipients of $2,000 Sustainable Jersey Green Team Support Grants

CountyMunicipalityProject Title
BergenBogota BoroughSenior Center Energy Efficiency Education Initiative
BergenHarrington Park BoroughFloodplain Restoration Tree Planting Project
Burl-ingtonChesterfield TwpCommunity Backyard Composting Education Program
Cam-denGloucester City“Rethink your Drink” Campaign
Cam-denMerchantville BoroughPromoting Food Security Through Edible Landscapes
Cam-denRunnemede BoroughGreen Team Support: Website Development
EssexEast Orange CitySmall Tools Lending Library Program
Huds-onJersey CityGreen Business Certification Program
Hunter-donReadington TwpNatural Resource Inventory Interactive Map
Middle-sexWoodbridge TwpWater Conservation Education Workshops
Mon-mouthAsbury Park CityComposting Education Pilot Program
Mon-mouthAtlantic Highlands BoroughCommunity Pollinator Garden
Mon-mouthColts Neck TwpGreen Team Support: Education and Outreach
Mon-mouthRoosevelt BoroughSustainability Education and Outreach Program
MorrisMountain Lakes BoroughGrowing our Green Team Presence in the Community
MorrisParsippany-Troy Hills TwpDistributed Energy Resource System (DER) Feasibility Study
SussexAndover TwpBuy Local Guide
UnionBerkeley Heights TwpAdopt-A-Drain Program
UnionPlainfield CityUrban Community Garden
UnionWestfield TownGuilt-free Takeout: Reusable Container Pilot Program