Sustainable Jersey Community Certification Report

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This is the Sustainable Jersey Certification Report of Ewing Twp (Mercer), a Sustainable Jersey bronze certified applicant.

Ewing Twp (Mercer) was certified on October 23, 2013 with 185 points. Listed below is information regarding Ewing Twp (Mercer)’s Sustainable Jersey efforts and materials associated with the applicant’s certified actions.

Contact Information

The designated Sustainable Jersey contact for Ewing Twp (Mercer) is:

Name:Joanne Mullowney
Title/Position:2019 Elected Chair / Sustainable Ewing Green Team
Address:20 Alexander Drive
Ewing, NJ 08638
Phone:609-883-0862

Sustainability Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which Ewing Twp (Mercer) was approved for in 2013 appears below. Note: Standards for the actions below may have changed and the documentation listed may no longer satisfy requirements for that action. Additionally, points associated with actions prior to 2013 certifications may not be accurate.

  • Community Partnership & Outreach

    Community Education and Outreach

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Ewing Township Sustainable Green Team focused many of its early efforts on educating the residents of Ewing on topics relating to sustainability with a variety of outreach methods that will keep them up-to-date on future plans and programs for a greener Ewing. These early efforts began with outreach efforts at Ewing’s annual Community Festival in October (2009 - 2012) where we had booths highlighting our sustainability efforts and introducing people to our mission and inviting them to join us. We have also conducted the same outreach at the National Night Out celebrations in Ewing in August 2012. (see upload) We have also reached out to Township residents electronically with a Facebook page, 2 websites, one for the Green Team and another sister site for the Ewing Community Gardens Committee, and with an informational page on the Ewing Township website. (see upload) We have published articles in the Ewing Observer on a variety of issues related to our mission of promoting sustainability in Ewing. (see example in online edition - http://www.mercerspace.com/news/ewing-green-team-grasscycling-is-beneficial-to-lawns/) The Green Team collaborated with the Bonner scholars at TCNJ in the winter of 2013 to promote a new Bonner Environmental Film Series at The College of New Jersey. The series debuted on February 25th with the award winning film, PlanEAT, and followed on March 25th with another award winner, Crude Impact. The festival was promoted on our website, with flyers distributed around the town, in the local papers and more. We brought in over ? of the total number of attendees. (see upload) The Green Team also continued its educational outreach at the Ewing Community Gardens May meeting where we had featured speaker, Mercer County Horticulturalist, Barbara J. Bromley. She spoke to the gardeners about soil building and answered a variety of questions from the floor. (see http://ewingcommunitygardens.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/barb-bromleys-tips-for-gardeners-a-big-hit/)

    Create Green Team

    10 Points Bronze Mandatory

    Program Summary:

    The Ewing Green Team was established on April 14, 2009 by municipal resolution #09R-71 [attached]. Additionally, resolutions naming the 2013 Green Team appointees and extending the terms from 1 to 3 years are also attached. 2013 also marks the first year where the Green Team has elected officers to provide leadership in working towards Sustainable Jersey certification and prioritizing, organizing and publicizing the Green Team’s actions. A leadership advisory council of 7 also meets monthly. Since its inception the Ewing Green Team has worked on community outreach and educational events including the Ewing Community Days, National Nights Out, a Bonner Film Festival, and has also instituted a Facebook page and Green Team website. Other projects include a rain garden demonstration project, revitalizing the Ewing Community Gardens, auditing municipal building for safety and energy savings, collaboration on a Green Fair and much more.

  • Green Fairs

    Hold a Green Fair

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    After exploring the viability of hosting our own green fair, Ewing Twp Green Team elected instead to partner with neighboring Sustainable Lawrence in boosting attendance at their 6th annual Living Local Expo at the Lawrence HS on Saturday afternoon 3/23/13. Ewing helped gain the participation of Mercer County, reached out to Ewing businesses and to Ewing homeowners who had earned rebates with energy efficiency projects. We mailed letters to 70 homeowners and followed with phone calls. We also walked into the businesses in person. We mass emailed. We promoted on our website. Ewing Green Team was represented at every weekly organizing meeting as well as at the Expo itself. A positive achievement aided by Ewing's active participation included that attendance jumped from about 350 in 2012 to 650 in 2013 which pleased the vendors.

  • Diversity & Equity

    Lead Education and Outreach Programs

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Township of Ewing has a Lead Testing & Prevention Program that has been in existence within the town’s Health Department for a number of years as outlined within a sampling of Health Reports from the last two years. The program is designed to follow, educate and help reduce the lead levels across the Township, with particular focus on at-risk populations. Children one year of age and high risk children, through the age of 6 years, receive testing for lead through our Child Health Conference (CHC). Referrals from physicians with children known to be high-risk are also tested. Lead Testing is additionally performed on Head Start Pre-School children on an annual basis. The Township uses LeadTrax, a New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services (NJSDHSS) program to monitor lead levels Township wide. The Public Health Nursing Staff assist in detecting elevations in Ewing Township residents as well. Follow-up is conducted on all individuals with elevated levels. The Trenton Department of Health and the Ewing Township Health Department jointly provide Lead Case Management through a grant from NJSDHSS. There are specific guidelines as part of the referral, investigation and abatement process. Intense follow-up is conducted on every positive lead case, both environmentally and through case management. Case management typically includes visits and checkups and an EPA booklet of preventive tips. The Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) is certified to use the Lead Paint Analyzer machine when cases are identified. Trenton provides the nurse to oversee all case management of Lead Cases in Ewing and information is shared on an ongoing basis with the Health Officer and REHS. • 2011 Health Report: http://ewingnj.org/ewing-environmental-resource-inventory/ • 2012 Report (excerpted below)

  • Municipal Energy Audits and Upgrades

    Energy Audits for One Building

    20 Points

    Program Summary:

    During 2012, the Ewing Green Team elected to establish an “Energy Efficiency Sub-committee” for the purpose of auditing the township’s municipal buildings and the energy usage thereof. The availability of professional volunteers knowledgeable in the fields of heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), alternative power generation, and carbon footprint reduction, prompted the committee to by-pass the BPU recommended audit in favor of a private examination of the buildings owned and operated by Ewing Township. The committee is however, guided by the sustainability principals promoted by New Jersey clean energy program, and standard energy conservation strategies. While two such building energy audits were performed during the year, and recommendations were developed for each, the main focus has been on the Township Municipal Building (town hall). A bond issue was passed by council and endorsed by the administration funding substantial renovations. This provided funding for the energy conserving modifications recommended by the Green Team. These recommendations include; installation of a heat reflecting white roof, replacement of standard parking lot lighting with low power consumption LED lamps, installation of energy reflecting window film for the atrium south and west facing windows, and replacement of the 20+ year old heating boilers with new high efficiency units. The first two projects have been completed, and the second two are in the bidding process. On June 11th Township Council initiated the ordinance process to authorize a $2.4m bond. $1.6m is slated to boiler replacement and AC upgrades. See http://ewingnj.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/REGULAR-SESSION-6-11-13.pdf. For 2013 and beyond, energy conserving measures for the Hollowbrook Community Center, Ewing Senior and Community Center and the Public Works building are planned. The Green Team will also be calculating the cumulative energy savings and reduction of Ewing’s carbon footprint. Such environmentally responsible activities will be an ongoing project for Ewing Township.

  • Food Production

    Community Gardens

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Ewing Green Team has been working to organize and promote Ewing’s existing community gardens and to identify areas in the Township as that would be suitable for additional community gardens. Our initial attempt to find a new area in the township was unsuccessful, so we turned our attention to revitalizing the existing community gardens. Ewing has provided land for community gardens for almost 20 years; however the location has been moved a number of times. The current location is on Whitehead Road Extension. Facilities and services there were limited to provision of a water source and spring plowing and marking out of the plots. While appreciative of the garden plots, the gardeners' satisfaction was low because of animal incursions and lack of facilities. This led to some abandonment of plots from sometime in August forward and the plots looked most unkempt. The Green Team Community Gardens Committee has worked with the Township since the fall of 2012 to provide the following: 1. To double the size of the garden site. An additional area was prepared and some new sites were made available in 2013 in a new organic section. Additional organic plots will be available in 2014 when fallowed plot areas become available. 2. An additional water supply was installed to meet the increased need. 3. An 8’ deer fence surrounding the entire garden perimeter was installed in early June 2013. 4. Chips for paths were supplied. (see uploads for 1 – 4) We also created the Ewing Community Gardens Organization to organize and educate gardeners and create community beginning with a kick off meeting on October 17, 2012. The organization meets monthly. (see uploaded documentation)

  • Health & Wellness

    Anti-Idling Education & Enforcement Program

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Ewing Council’s Anti-Idling Resolution was adopted on June 11, 2013. Ewing Green Team (EGT) members met with Mercer County Health Department (MCHD) in early 2013. The 21 County Health Depts enforce the State’s anti-idling rules. An EGT member is now coordinating with MCHD and monitoring enforcement through review of Ewing-originated DEP Hot-Line (1-888-WARNDEP) incident reports. The resulting data are being analyzed and evaluated to enhance enforcement efforts. An example anti-idling sign purchased by EGT from NJDEP was shown to the Township Business Administrator, who then stated that the Twp will purchase and install the signs at interested businesses (see Map) with highest potential for idling vehicles. Educational outreach to public schools included production of a 1.5 minute video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oADt7S3sRs&feature=youtu.be ) by TCNJ Bonner Scholars that teachers will be offered in Fall 2013 to help instruct students on idling issues. Students will be encouraged to bring these issues home via a “virtual backpack”. Ewing Green Team (EGT) is working with Ewing Public Schools to place appropriate anti-idling signs at the 3 elementary, 1 middle and 1 high schools. We intend to educate parents (through students and teachers) and bus drivers about adverse effects of vehicle idling. Greater Mercer Transportation Management Assn (GMTMA) has also made a member available present at the schools. Businesses targeted for education and outreach such as fast food restaurants and convenience stores are in the Township’s strip malls, especially along heavily commercial North Olden and Parkway Avenues. No signs were found at any of these, save for the truck delivery dock at Shop-Rite (see photos). Two sites are priorities as being adjacent to child care facilities. Our “No-Idling” Flyer, the Anti-Idling Resolution and other support materials will be distributed by EGT members this summer to these businesses and posted at the municipal building, library and Township website.

  • Innovation & Demonstration Projects

    Raingardens

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Ewing Green Team completed tasks in a $10k grant proposal coordinated by members John Hoegl and Pamela V’Combe. On October 9, 2010 members organized a booth at Ewing Com Fest at TCNJ sharing water conservation and rain garden information with residents. On December 15, 2010 the Township finalized agreement with Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) Water Resources Program for technical assistance and coordination. The Green Team and RCE Water Resources Program met multiple times and coordinated with NJDEP Watershed Ambassadors and Sustainable Lawrence on water conservation/rain barrel workshops. Two were conducted. The first was March 24, 2011 at the Ewing Senior & Community Center with thirty-three registrants plus helpers who built forty-one barrels. The second was May 14 at Abiding Presence Lutheran Church on Route 31 in two sessions totaling thirty-five participants who assembled forty-eight barrels. This workshop was coordinated with surrounding municipalities as a regional opportunity for Mercer County residents. A Sustainable Landscaping Techniques seminar was presented on April 26, 2011 at the Ewing Library for ten residents who learned how to design and build home rain gardens. Attendees were able to purchase the award-winning Rain Garden Manual of New Jersey at reduced cost. Two rain gardens were completed; a residential one disconnecting rooftop runoff and one managing parking lot runoff . The first is at Ewing Independent Living Whitehead Road Extension as an example for residents at their homes. The second manages stormwater runoff from a parking area at the well-utilized Municipal Recreation Fields on Upper Ferry Road as an example in best management practice for protecting runoff water quality to a local creek which ultimately reaches the Delaware River. Visibility to the many public involved in sports or entering adjacent Town Hall is enhanced by an informative sign.

  • Land Use & Transportation

    Sustainable Land Use Pledge

    10 Points Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

    The Ewing Town Council passed a Sustainable Land Use Pledge resolution on June 11, 2013. On July 31, 2013 a memo was distributed electronically to all members of the planning and zoning boards and other relevant officials as evidenced by the uploaded email scan. • Resolution (attached) • Agenda (attached) • Proof of distribution to Planning and Zoning Boards (attached)

  • Natural Resources

    Environmental Commission

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Ewing Township's Environmental Commission (EEC), established by ordinance in 1973, has met continuously since and plays a role in land development decisions in the Township including performing environmental site reviews for the Planning Board. In 2005 and 2006, the EEC obtained a grant allowing DVRPC to produce an Environmental Resource Inventory and a Conservation Element in conjunction with the revision of the Master Plan. In 2009, the EEC convinced the Mayor and Council to establish and support a Green Team (GT). The EEC and GT have cooperated ever since, including several who are dual members. Other recent projects by the EEC have been community education via an annual Community Fest, trails development that enlisted Scouts, HS and College students and citizens as well as Township staff in improving the paths, reducing the presence of invasive species along trails and waterways and encouraging Transit Oriented Development and Complete Streets. They are currently active in forestry concerns including a tree of the month reach-out to citizens (see Community Forestry action).

    Natural Resource Inventory

    20 Points Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

    The Ewing Environmental Commission (EC) coordinated the development of a comprehensive "Environmental Resource Inventory" (ERI/NRI) and Conservation Element (CE) for Ewing in 2005 simultaneously with the development of the township’s 2006 Master Plan (MP). The ERI and the CE of the MP were prepared by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) [See http://www.dvrpc.org/reports/05008.pdf and http://www.dvrpc.org/reports/07007.pdf]. The MP (see http://ewingnj.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/2006MasterPlan.pdf) was prepared by Schorr-DePalma. The MP references the ERI in the Land Use Section on page 28 and the Future Land Use Section on page 42. The ERI explains its linkage to the MP in the introduction on page 6. All three documents were financed from the same grant and are stored together in the Municipal Clerk's file drawer. The ERI also facilitated the incorporation of the EC on the Site Review Committee which reviews and apprises applicants on projects within the planning phase. The EC assures that the principles in the ERI are being implemented. As part of its statutory obligation to update the MP every 10 years, the Township is reviewing its 2006 MP, associated environmental documents and ordinances. Ewing has contracted with DVRPC to supplement the NRI with sections on Air and Climate. Uploads include the proposal and the purchase order. [The 2005 NRI/ERI included air in two ways. Radon in air was included under Natural Resources Physiography on page 17, and ozone in air in a referenced Mercer airport (located in Ewing) environmental study. Climate was mentioned in the 1st paragraph under Biological Resources Natural Vegetation on page 53.] The upgraded air and climate supplements will be reviewed by the Planning Board along with all other revised documents. A memo (uploaded) from the Ewing Business Administrator to the Green Team Chair explains further how the NRI/ERI is linked to the MP.

  • Tree & Woodlands Management

    Community Forestry Management Plan and NJUCF Accreditation

    20 Points

    Program Summary:

    With help from a $3,000 DEP grant in early 2011, the Ewing Environmental Commission developed a Community Forestry Management Plan (CFMP) for Ewing during 2011. The grant paid for the expert guidance of Bill Brash, Certified Tree Expert (CTE) #375 of New Jersey, who is also the Executive Director of the Mercer County Soil Conservation District. The plan was completed and filed in late 2011, and accepted in mid-January, 2012. That acceptance allows Ewing to apply for grants under the Community Support Incentive Program (CSIP) if available. In 2012 Ewing suffered unprecedented damage to the tree canopy in its public parks as a result of the late July microburst and Hurricane Sandy. Our current tree canopy coverage is 27.4%, below the state average of 40%. That’s because we’re very developed, with little open space remaining. Ewing has applied for CSIP 2013 grant monies (uploaded) to help start the process. The proposal’s Project Narrative included the goal of approaching the statewide average canopy, and referenced page 13 of the CFMP 5-year goal of planting 200 trees per year. Trees to be replanted will be concentrated in those Ewing parks which suffered the most damage: Banchoff and Moody Parks. Despite no CSIP funds in 2012, Ewing did accomplish other CFMP goals. Core-training of environmental commission and Department of Public Works members was accomplished at the NJ Shade Tree Federation in October. In addition, members of the Environmental Commission recorded more than 9 CEUs that had to do with trees and their care in 2012; the Environmental Commission's Tree of the Month campaign (which highlights a tree species with photo and text in the Ewing Observer) gained steam with information on seven tree species published in 2012; and, momentum started building for a tree ordinance for public land to be approved in 2013.

  • Green Purchasing Program

    Energy-Efficient Appliances or Equipment

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Ewing Township has made recent strides in 2012 and 2013 toward purchase of energy efficient equipment and energy saving building improvements. The primary impetus for purchasing Energy Star certified equipment has been to reduce energy costs. The Township is beginning to realize a generous amount of savings by switching to not only energy saving appliances, but LED lighting and other building improvements designed to save energy, as outlined in the attached Memorandum from Jim McManimon, Town Administrator. The person responsible for overseeing purchasing choices at the Township is the Purchasing Officer. As learned in an interview with the Purchasing Officer, and as verified by the Town Administrator’s memorandum, the Township has made recent energy efficient purchases (Spring 2013): -Energy Star certified copiers for the Municipal building -Apple iPads (for use by Township Council, Administrative Staff, Planning and Zoning Boards). iPads exceed Energy Star requirements. -Energy Star LED lighting in parking areas at the Municipal building The Township has plans in 2013 to purchase new high-efficiency boilers for the municipal building, which if possible will be Energy Star certified. In fact, at the June 11 meeting, a bond ordinance approved for first reading with expected final passage on June 25th. In keeping with its trend toward energy efficiency, the Township has plans to continue Energy Star choices when considering future electronics purchases.

  • Recycling

    Community Paper Shredding Day

    5 Points

    Program Summary:

    Ewing Township, New Jersey has been holding paper shredding events dating back to 2010. The Township’s Recycling Coordinator organizes the events and has two Township employees to assist the transfer of papers from the cars to the shredding truck, in addition to the person operating the shredding truck/equipment. These events have been increased from one to three times a year. Since Ewing is about 15.5 square miles; each event is at a different location throughout the Township to make it convenient and accessible for all residents. The first shredding event in 2013 was held on April 27th at the Hollowbrook Community Center. The hours were from 9:00-1:00. There was a steady stream of vehicles and at the end of the day over 180 cars dropped off 9,130 lbs of paper. This also gave the Green Team the opportunity to hand out reusable bags with lots of helpful recycling information; such as the do’s and don’ts of recycling, a brochure listing the 3 shredding events in 2013, an introduction to the Green Team, and the importance of grasscycling, just to mention a few of the enclosures. Ads for these shredding events were in the primary local paper, The Ewing Observer, as well as on the Township’s and the Ewing Green Team’s websites. The Green Team also sent in its own article to the Ewing Observer regarding the July 20th paper shredding event which should appear in their July 1 issue. The Township had flyers displayed at Public Works, and the Green Team had their own brochure describing the events as well as their contributions to the day’s activities. Whenever the Green Team attends an event such as ‘National Night Out’ or ‘CommFest’; brochures are also handed out to let people know. See also http://ewingnj.org/?s=shred+day for Ewing's historic shred notices on their website.

    Recycling Depot

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Ewing Township, New Jersey has a convenient recycling depot located at Ewing’s Public Works Department at 136 Scotch Road which has been operational for several years. This location is set up to accept electronics and bulk waste. The hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:00-4:00, Tuesday and Thursday from 7:00-6:00 and Saturday from 7:00-2:00. The Depot is easy to access as you enter the Department of Public Works and convenient for cars to pull in and unload quickly. Dumpsters for bulk waste such as construction debris and scrap metal, are available and accessible from several sides. Signage is clear. Electronics are collected inside a trailer which is easy to get in and out as needed. If help is needed; employees from Public Works are available and pleasantly help unload. At a separate location at Jack Stephan Way, Ewing Township, off Parkway Avenue and adjacent to the Naval Jet Propulsion Center, Ewing has a brush drop-off and recycling area where residents can drop off their landscaping material to be broken down to mulch and compost. Hours for drop-off are Monday-Friday 7:00-2:30; Saturday 7:00-3:30. Ewing Township also collects and recycles cell phones, chargers and batteries at two locations; drop off containers are located at the Ewing Municipal Building lobby at 2 Jake Garzio Drive, from 8:30-4:30 and the Ewing Recreation Building 136 Scotch Road, the same hours as the Public Works Department. Ewing Township’s Recycling Coordinator sends out mailers to update residents about any changes; shares helpful recycling information; and gives a reminder calendar for curbside pick-ups as well as telling about future special events. Ewing Township’s website also has all this information as well as a current list of do’s and don’ts on recycling. (See http://ewingnj.org/departments/public-works/recycling/)

  • Waste Reduction

    EPA WasteWise Partner

    5 Points

    Program Summary:

    Ewing is an active partner in Region 2 (Mid-Atlantic) of the EPA WasteWise program as shown in the list of participating municipalities: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/smm/wastewise/about.htm The Township of Ewing has promoted waste reduction as a WasteWise member through the following initiatives: -an Emissions Inventory in 2005 -Hosting 3 Shred Days in 2013 to reduce paper waste -The addition of a recycling depot in 2011 to supplement curbside pickup. In addition to common recyclables, residents can drop off electronics and organic materials -Contracting with a mulch company to chip brush, tree materials and leaves into usable mulch which is available free to citizens for their gardens and landscaping needs. This reduces organic materials in the waste stream Other initiatives are in the development phase, as is a coordinated educational initiative between the Ewing Green Team and Public Works (see SJ Grass-Cut it and Leave it action for Ewing).

    Grass - Cut It and Leave It Program

    5 Points

    Program Summary:

    Ewing Township and the Ewing Township Sustainable Green Team have joined forces to promote a “Grasscycle – Cut It and Leave It” program in Ewing. PROMOTION • Facts about the positive effects of grass-cycling can be found online: • On Ewing Township’s website at http://ewingnj.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/grasscyclecampaigntrifold.pdf and • On the Ewing Township Sustainable Green Team’s website at http://ewinggreenteam.wordpress.com/committees/recycling/grasscycling/. • The Ewing Township Recycling staff created an educational flyer for public distribution (uploaded). • The Ewing Green Team wrote an article promoting the benefits of grasscycling that was published in the Ewing Observer, June 2013 edition page 34 (which has been uploaded). • In addition, the Green Team Recycling Committee worked with the Township Recycling Department at the 2013 Spring and Summer Shred Days (April 27th and July 20th) to distribute and promote the campaign to township residents. • The Ewing Green Team also worked with the Township staff to identify all lawn contractors that operate in the Township (to be uploaded). A letter was sent to each contactor (exact number to be provided) outlining the program and its benefits and asking them to promote the program with their customers (uploaded). Copies of the promotional flyer was included in the mailing. TAKE THE PLEDGE The Ewing Green Team also asked Township residents to join forces with them in promoting sustainable practices in Ewing. A pledge page was created on the Green Team Website on May 11, 2013 at http://ewinggreenteam.wordpress.com/pledge/ where residents are able to pledge to join and support a number of our campaigns, including the Grasscycle Campaign. (count to be provided).