Sustainable Jersey Community Certification Report

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This is the Sustainable Jersey Certification Report of Glen Ridge Boro (Essex), a Sustainable Jersey silver certified applicant.

Glen Ridge Boro (Essex) was certified on October 13, 2016 with 355 points. Listed below is information regarding Glen Ridge Boro (Essex)’s Sustainable Jersey efforts and materials associated with the applicant’s certified actions.

Contact Information

The designated Sustainable Jersey contact for Glen Ridge Boro (Essex) is:

Name:Michael Rohal
Title/Position:Borough Administrator/Engineer/Clerk / Administration
Address:825 Bloomfield Avenue
Glen Ridge, NJ 07028
Phone:973-748-0303

Sustainability Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which Glen Ridge Boro (Essex) was approved for in 2016 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.

  • Animals in the Community

    Companion Animal Management Pledge

    5 Points

    Program Summary:

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    Pledge Supporting NJ Wildlife Action Plan

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Pledge Supporting NJ Wildlife Action Plan is attached. Reolution was unanimously adopted by the Borough Council without objectors during the public comment section of the meeting.

  • Community Partnership & Outreach

    Community Education and Outreach

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Environmental Advisory Committee has established the following outreach programs: Go Glen Ridge Green website - www.goglenridgegreen.org/ Green Flash - bi-monthly newsletter Film series with library Documentation is attached.

    Create Green Team

    10 Points Bronze Mandatory

    Program Summary:

    The Mayor & Council reauthorized the the Environmental Advisory as the Living Green Team for the Borough on November 23, 2015. Membership includes a representative from Council & the Board of Education, Borough Administrator and residents. The Committee meets the second Tuesday of each month. Some of the activities of the Committee are the Eco-Fair, environmental lecture series, and an expanded single stream recycling program and is currently making recommendations to the Shade Tree Commission. The Committee has also promoted the sale of canvass bags, composting bins and rain barrels in the Borough. Included in the attachments is an article from the Borough newsletter on the Committee's activities.

  • Green Fairs

    "Green" Your Green Fair

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    GREENING THE GREEN FAIR The ninth annual Glen Ridge Eco-Fair was held on May 7, 2016. Once again it was an outdoor event, meaning that no building was heated or lighted to accommodate it. It was also a plastic-free event: utilizing only fabric tablecloths, along with paper and reusable canvas bags. Even our approach to publicizing the event ahead of time was eco-friendly: We relied on an updated corner sign and email blasts rather than flyers and posters. But perhaps the greenest thing we did at this year’s fair was to have two prominent stations at which patrons could dispose of their refuse. Each was staffed by members of the high school environmental club, and at each were several barrels: either designated for garbage or for recycling. The students made sure that everything that could be recycled was. This accomplished two purposes. It helped educate residents about the vast array of items the town now accepts for recycling, and it prevented people from idly throwing their plastic water bottles or soda cans into the nearest garbage can. At the end of the day it was an object lesson on how much more recycling than garbage should be collected. The 2015 vendors list is attached which shows that recent EcoFairs incorporated all the required measures.

    Hold a Green Fair

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The 9th annual Glen Ridge Eco-Fair held on May 7, 2015 focused on how to live a more active, healthy, and eco-friendly lifestyle. In so doing, it featured electric cars, bees and butterflies, home brewing, essential oils, organic soaps, free-trade products, organic fruits and vegetables, as well as expert advice for planting your own vegetable garden, creating a rain garden and making your own compost. There were animals from the Turtle Back Zoo and animals for adoption! In addition, Home Depot demonstrated a wide-range of simple to substantial "green," yet money saving products, along with activities for children, such as making bird houses and picture frames from scrap wood. A selection of herbs and berry plants, along with terrariums games were available for purchase. The Eco-Fair is sponsored by the borough's Environmental Advisory Committee and the Glen Ridge Women's Club. As in past years, it is held in conjunction with the Arts Festival, making food concessions and live entertainment a vibrant part of the day's festivities.

  • Municipal Energy Audits and Upgrades

    Inventory and Upgrade All Buildings

    50 Points Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

    In 2007, the Borough engaged Metro Energy Solutions to perform an energy audit of all the Borough's municipal facilities. The audit was performed to develop design specifications for the renovation of the Public Safety Building, Library & Public Works Building. Renovations were completed in 2008. The audit will be used for the Municpla Building renovation when funds become available. The audit summary & recommendations are attached.

  • Food Production

    Community Gardens

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Borough has been working with Lots to Grow to develop community gardens in the Borough which benefit local food pantries. Lots to Grow requested use of an area in a Borough property known as Benson Green when they had to relocate their community garden. Lots to Grow is supported by a local non-profit, Partners in Health, local governments, businesses and volunteers. The Borough provided the land and installed the water service for the garden. The Borough supplies water for irrigation as well as maintenance. Articles from the Glen Ridge Voice & Green Flash are attached as well as a photo of the current garden.

  • Health & Wellness

    Anti-Idling Education & Enforcement Program

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Borough of Glen Ridge adopted its first Anti-Idling policy on March 28, 2016. It is our goal to make any necessary changes in the Borough that will help create a healthier and safer place for residents of all ages. The targeted areas of the Anti-Idling Resolution are our three public schools, municipal buildings, and parks throughout the Borough. It is critical that these public areas remain as safe as possible, especially when the product gases of combustion represent a greater threat to younger children. The Borough of Glen Ridge is dedicated to improving awareness of the negative effects of Idling to all residents, as well as enforcing these new policies.

    Safe Routes to School

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    . Almost all of us agree that the privilege of walking to school should be the birthright of every child, as it builds self-confidence, independence and social skills. With that in mind, the Borough undertook a safe-routes-to-school initiative, in partnership with the national SRTS Coalition, earlier this year. The initiative was begun at the RAS because of the school’s location, and because its children are of walking age. First, a committee was formed representing all relevant parties: town and school administrations, the council, police, and parents. Then data was collected from a parent survey, as well as from discussions with the children and the Home and School. Based on all of this input, the committee came up with some meaningful changes that have been put in place. The borough has created two drop-off and pick-up locations. Parents driving from the north end should again drop their children off in the marked zone on the south side of Wildwood Terrace. But those driving from the south end will now be able to drop off in a newly designated zone on the south side of Clark Street. The advantages of this procedure are two-fold. First and foremost, it will allow all RAS children to walk at least a couple of blocks with their peers. In addition, it will keep school traffic away from the Bloomfield Avenue corridor and the Train Station area. This initiative was recognized as a best practice by Together North Jersey. See page 49 of Bloomfield Avenue report The police department has also developed a special map with highlighted walking routes to the school. The idea behind this is to funnel the children in such a way that they join a stream of walkers along routes that have the greatest number of crossing guards and the most police supervision. Parents are encouraged to go over the maps with their children and to walk the route with them several times until both parent and child feel comfortable and reassured. As in the past, crossing guards will be at 14 intersections, including 2 guards at Bloomfield/Ridgewood and Belleville/Ridgewood, from 7:30 to 9 and from 2:30 to 4:00. Although these changes are significant, they are only a start. More should and can be done to better facilitate both walking and biking to RAS. So it is hoped that many more parents will volunteer to help with this all-important effort when the committee resumes its work in the fall.

    Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Public Places

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The borough adopted an ordinance banning smoking in public buildings in March 1994. The Borough banned smoking in all municipal parks in September 2000.

  • Innovation & Demonstration Projects

    Innovative Community Project 1

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Commuter Shuttle Service In 2002, the Montclair Connection was completed which resulted in the closing of one of the two train stations in the Borough. The Borough initiated an alternative to driving to the remaining station by implementing the Community Shuttle Program. Ridership has more than doubled since the first year of operation. In 2015, the Shuttle Program provided almost 65,000 rides for commuters, an increase of nearly 10,000 rides from 2014. The amount of vehicular traffic in proximity to the Glen Ridge Station has been reduced by over 200 cars. The program has reduced emissions and provides a safer environment for pedestrians as well. An environmentally sensitive area known as the Glen was preserved since the need for parking was reduced due to the success of the Shuttle Program. The Glen was the only useable area to expand parking in the vicinity of the Glen Ridge Train Station after the closing of the Benson Street Station in 2002.

    Innovative Community Project 2

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Cool Turf at Washington Field The Borough of Glen Ridge in partnership with the Township of Montclair installed the first Fieldturf Cool Play athletic field in the state of New Jersey. The Cool Play product differs from other artificial fields by having a top cork layer instead of crumb rubber. The municipalities decided to use this product for the following reasons: -reduction of heat -conservation of water -reducing participants' exposure to crumb rubber. Project was partially funded by a County of Essex open space grant. The field was opened to the public in August 2015. The environmental benefits of Coolplay are described in the attached article from Athletic Business. The decision to use the cork top product was based on findings from a citizen committee appointed by the mayor & council to explore various options for maximizing the use the Borough's athletic fields.

    Innovative Community Project 3

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Shade Tree Commission Community Engagement Program The Shade Tree Commission realizes that public education is key to its success. The Commission has initiated several programs to assist in that effort. Board Secretary Michael Zichelli came up with a game which sent kids and parents on a “mission” to scope out trees and answer questions about them based on a reading of QR codes. The game packet is attached below. In addition, saplings after planting were fitted out with small plastic labels with QR codes and the words “Hug Me.” When read, the QR code provides care instructions and information about the tree species. Unfortunately, the creation of these labels was onerous. They did, however, garner considerable interest and attention. The Commission also promoted Four Season Photo Contest of borough trees. Each season, the Commission received over 50 entries.Commission. The winning photos were placed on the commission's website at http://glenridgenj.org/stphotowinners.htm. The Shade Tree Commission is also compiling a list of private trees that contribute to the beauty and history of Glen Ridge. Trees can be notable because they are linked to Glen Ridge's history, are particularly old, are an unusual species or because they are simply beautiful. Once all the tree information is compiled, a web-based notable tree walking tour of the Borough will be accessible from our website. Nomination forms are available on the Borough website at http://www.glenridgenj.org/shadetree/notabletrees.htm

  • Land Use & Transportation

    Bicycle and or Pedestrian Audit

    5 Points

    Program Summary:

    Bloomfield Avenue Complete Corridor Plan The borough along with the Townships of Montclair, Bloomfield and Verona participate in a Together North Jersey local demonstration project to create design standards and recommendations for the multi-modal transportation corridor. Bloomfield Avenue is the premier arterial road in Essex County. Significant outreach & studies were performed to identify pedestrian improvements and a bicycle network. The final report dated April 2015 is attached. A synopsis of the traffic counts is contained in Appendix B of the attached report.

    Complete Streets Program

    20 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Mayor and Borough Council adopted a Complete Streets resolution on September 10, 2012. It has been a goal of the Borough to make streets safer and to encourage more residents to walk, bike or take public transportation. Since the passage of the resolution, the Borough has been working with the County of Essex to make improvements to Ridgewood Avenue to promote pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Ridgewood Avenue is a county road which runs the entire length of the Borough from East Orange to Brookdale Park. The County has accepted Borough recommendations to add over 3 miles of bike lanes and install additional pedestrian crossings. A contract for the project has been awarded and work is scheduled for this summer. The Borough is also pursuing a grant with Montclair, Bloomfield and Verona to study and make recommendations to the Bloomfield Avenue corridor. Bloomfield Avenue is the premier roadway in Essex County. Attached are documents describing the grant application.

    Sustainable Land Use Pledge

    10 Points Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

    The Sustainable Land Use Pledge was unanimously adopted by the Borough Council with no odjectors during the public comment section of the meeting. Resolution & email notification to land use boards and Environmental Advisory Committee are attached.

  • Natural Resource Protection Ordinances

    Tree Protection Ordinance

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Borough's Shade Tree Ordinance is attached.

  • Tree & Woodlands Management

    Community Forestry Plan and Tree Cover Goal

    20 Points

    Program Summary:

    The public shade trees of Glen Ridge are our heritage and responsibility. The Shade Tree Commission is charged with developing a flexible strategic plan, practical goals and defined steps to ensure that shade trees are planted, maintained and monitored over time. This commitment to healthy trees represents a long-term investment in the beauty, biodiversity and historic character of Glen Ridge. Attached are the borough's Canopy Goal Resolution, current Community Forestry Status Report and the annual Shade Tree Commission Report to the Community.

    Tree Hazard Inventory

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Tree Hazard and Health Asessment Inventory for the entire Borough was finished in 2012 and the system is being updated to reflect planting locations and tree removals. The town’s objective is to keep the inventory current to utilize as a management tool. Data from the inventory is also being incorporated into Google Earth to show town wide tree conditions.

    Tree Maintenance Programs

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Please see attached documents.

    Tree Planting Programs

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Glen Ridge Shade Tree Commission created the 600 Tree Campaign to face the challenge of replacing trees lost to age and disease. Their objective is to seek out community organizations, businesses, and residents to assist in this effort by requesting they consider making a donation to the campaign. So far, the Committee has collected contributions for 102 trees. In addition, the Council has approved the Shade Tree Commission's recomendation to plant 1,000 new trees in the course of 5 years. This rate would be 200 trees planted annually at an estimated $300 per tree for an estimated budget of $60,000 per year. This amount will stay ahead of the removals while providing a cushion to supplement the tree population in town to allow for normal mortality. Attached is the information for the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 plantings. The Borough will be planting an additional 100 trees this fall. Planting photo is also attached.

  • Green Purchasing Program

    Adopt a Green Purchasing Policy by Resolution

    5 Points

    Program Summary:

    Borough Council adopted a Green Purchasing Policy. Resolution, purchasing policy and certification of notice to department heads and members of the Environmental Advisory Committee are attached. The policy can be found here: http://www.glenridgenj.org/administration.htm

  • Access to Public Information

    Digitizing Public Information

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Borough of Glen Ridge is dedicated to providing its residents with all necessary information regarding the town that they live in. We believe that our Borough functions most effectively when everyone has access to this information, and this action has aided us in fine-tuning our methods. The uploaded document contains a bullet-list of all online resources for residents of the Borough of Glen Ridge. These communication channels are constantly updated, so that residents are always aware of any town-wide changes. This action was particularly appealing to the Borough because of its annual component, in which we will make sure to keep these resources updated and easily accessible for years ahead. The link to the page that provides the phone number and email address of elected officials is here: http://www.glenridgenj.org/council.htm. The phone number is in the upper right hand corner.

  • Citizen Engagement

    Online Municipal Public Service Systems

    15 Points

    Program Summary:

    In its continuing effort to provide efficient and effective service, the Borough of Glen Ridge provides residents with the following tools via its website: Service Request Center - This interactive feature allows residents to ask questions or request service from any Borough department twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Status updates on each request can be tracked online and are provided to the resident via e-mail until the request is resolved to their satisfaction. The SRC also contains a Knowledge Base which contains article designed to answer frequently asked questions regarding various public services before they need to be asked. See http://www.glenridgenj.org/request/ Online Payment Center – The Borough accepts online payment for property taxes, water bills and some programs and services. The OPC contains a list of frequently asked questions regarding fees, types of payment accepted and other related information. See http://www.glenridgenj.org/onlinepaymentcenter/ Borough Notifications – Residents may sign up to receive announcements, reminders and other information from the Borough via e-mail. See http://www.glenridgenj.org/mailing.htm Easy Access Forms – Permit applications along with instructions, fees and other related information are available to download from the website. See http://www.glenridgenj.org/permits.htm Garbage/Recycling Schedule – A pick-up calendar is provided as is information related to how and where all types of trash should be discarded. See http://www.glenridgenj.org/garbage.htm How To’s – Links compiled to assist residents with how to accomplish common tasks is provided on the Residents page of the website. There they will also find a link to the comprehensive Municipal Directory should they require any additional assistance. See http://www.glenridgenj.org/residents.htm

  • Communications

    Municipal Communications Strategy

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Borough of Glen Ridge is constantly seeking to improve its communication throughout the town. This action has called attention to the specific communication strategies already in place, and the importance of regularly updating information for the citizens of Glen Ridge. The official website of the Borough of Glen Ridge, found at www.glenridgenj.org, is regularly updated with important information, such as the next town-wide Freecycle day and upcoming live music events. The official government twitter account of the Borough of Glen Ridge, found at @GlenRidgeNJ, is regularly updated, most recently providing information to the town about changes in our Memorial Day Parade on May 30, 2016. The official Facebook page of the Borough of Glen Ridge, found at https://www.facebook.com/Borough-of-Glen-Ridge-New-Jersey-648320125192175/, is similar to our twitter account in that gives the full day schedule of our Memorial Day service and any changes due to the weather. The official YouTube page of the Borough, found at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKa0H-6r7-mHuXqXvvD51kQ, includes the most recent planning board and council meetings, in case residents want to see updates on administrative news within the Borough Government. The minutes from all council meetings are also available on the Borough home page. Lastly, there is an email news chain subscription available on the bottom right corner of the Municipal home page. Simply enter your email address and you will receive announcement and information from the Borough. Attached are screen shots from the five mentioned communication strategies that our municipality regularly updates & a narrative providing additional details on our strategy.

  • Sustainability & Climate Planning

    Municipal Carbon Footprint

    10 Points Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

    2015 marks the first year that the Borough of Glen Ridge calculated a municipal carbon footprint. The data taken from PSEG bills throughout 2015 includes all municipal structures throughout the town, as well as our signature gas lamps that run parallel to all of our streets. Identifying our current energy consumption is the first step towards making greater improvements in borough-wide energy efficiency.

  • Waste Management

    Prescription Drug Safety and Disposal

    10 Points Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary:

    The Glen Ridge Police Department has been participating with the Drug Enforcement Administration in taking back unwanted prescription drugs since 2014. The Borough is also a permanent drop off for prescription drugs in the police department foyer, located at 3 Herman Street, Glen Ridge, NJ 07028.

  • Recycling

    Community Paper Shredding Day

    5 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Borough of Glen Ridge and the Public Library have been sponsoring shredding days since April 2011. Proceeds go to the Friends of the Library programs. Attached are event announcements & photos from the 2015 & 2016 shredding days. Participants at April 25, 2015 event shredded over 400 cubic feet. The library received $1,940.00 in donations at the event. The 2016 day was held on June 11th. Over 200 residents participated. Between residents & the borough's documents, nearly 5 tons of paper were shredded. The Library netted $2,600.00 from the event. The Borough & Library posted Shredding Day notices on their webpages and sent email blasts to residents. Signage was placed in public areas advertising the event. Local newspapers also advertised the event. Promotional material for the 2016 event is attached.

    Recycling Depot

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    The Public Works Yard located at 122 Carteret Street is open the second Saturday of each month for residents to drop off recycling including electronics, printer cartridges & clothing. The yard is also opened weekdays from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. Information on the recycling center can be found at www.glenridgenj.org/gcalendar. Recycling pamphlet noting drop off schedule and photos are attached.

  • Waste Reduction

    Materials Reuse Program

    10 Points

    Program Summary:

    Freecycle Program The Borough has instituted a freecycle program where residents place items out to reuse one day prior to the bulk waste collection. To reduce fuel consumption, the Borough maintains a dirctory of items and locations.Freecycle Day is a monthly event! Freecycling allows residents to give away usable but unwanted items to others instead of disposing of them. Participation not only aids in waste reduction, it can be a great cost saver for those searching for the ultimate bargain. Bulk waste tonnage has been reduced by approximately 50 tons or 20% since the introduction of the Freecycling program.