Rutherford Community Teaching Garden a "Sustainable Jersey" Grant Success Story

on May 03, 2012

Trenton, NJ (May 3, 2012) – The sun shone bright in Rutherford today when officials from the public and private sector joined local residents to celebrate progress at the Community Teaching Garden and highlight new grant money available for municipal sustainability projects. With $200,000 from the PSEG Foundation, Sustainable Jersey will provide municipalities with grants for thirty-two projects that will help towns make communities more livable, environmentally friendly and prosperous.

“PSEG is committed to being a steward of the environment and making meaningful contributions to the communities it serves,” said Anne Hoskins, senior vice president of public affairs and sustainability for PSEG, one of New Jersey’s oldest companies and largest employers. “We are proud to support this program and to fund projects that will make life better in neighborhoods all over New Jersey.”

Rutherford was awarded a 2010 Sustainable Jersey Small Grant in the amount of $25,000 that allowed the town to complete Phase Two of its Community Teaching Garden Project. An overgrown and littered vacant lot along the railroad tracks has been reborn into a beautiful garden showplace. The garden provides the
Rutherford Green Team and Sustainable Jersey with an impressive, functional and beautiful example of sustainable living in Bergen County area as well as a multitude of sustainable growth and education opportunities for seniors, those with special needs and all of its residents. Rutherford’s use of volunteer labor from the community has multiplied the value of their grant.

Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit that provides tools, training and financial incentives for communities that pursue sustainability programs. The 2012 Sustainable Jersey Small Grants Program will award local governments with four $20,000 grants, eight $10,000 grants and twenty $2,000 grants for projects like electric vehicle charging stations, school food composting centers and community gardens.

To apply, a municipality must submit a proposal describing its local sustainability initiative, detailing the commitment of the municipality to sustainability and collaboration with nearby municipalities to leverage resources. Proposals will be reviewed and scored by a Blue Ribbon selection committee composed of sustainability experts and public figures.

“Sustainable Jersey is proud to help towns complete projects like this one in Rutherford,” said Pam Mount, Chair of the Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees. “Aiding towns and Green Teams to achieve their sustainable goals by funding green initiatives throughout New Jersey will have a ripple effect that will benefit us all.” New Jersey is the first state in the nation to have a comprehensive sustainability program for communities that links certification with strong state and private financial incentives, and a fully resourced program of technical support and training. Sustainable Jersey has streamlined, incentivized and guided the process.

A core element of the Sustainable Jersey program is to direct funding and resources to municipalities to aid them in making progress. In the last two years, $595,000 has been awarded through the Sustainable Jersey’s Small Grants program. Eighty grants for sustainability projects have been given to New Jersey municipalities representing 20 counties.

Towns and communities interested in applying for a grant can visit the Sustainable Jersey Web site ( to read the grant requirements and download the application. Proposals are due to Sustainable Jersey on July 15, 2012.

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