on Jun 22, 2009
Trenton, NJ - Today, representatives of Sustainable Jersey 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 programs (see list at the end of this release).
Representatives from the City of Somers Point were pleased to accept the Sustainable Jersey grant funding. “It’s exciting that our instructive rain garden project is among the first to receive funding,” said Councilman Sean McGuigan. “Somers Point is a bay front community, and we always try to be sensitive of our environment,” Mayor Jack Glasser added. “This project will involve a cross-section of our residents, and it will remain as a teaching tool that shows how a simple concept can lead to big results in establishing a sustainable community.”
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.
Recipients of $25,000 grants
|Hardwick, Township of||Warren|| |
Sustainability education programs including a lake water monitoring
|Livingston, Township of||Essex||Feasibility study for reclamation and reuse of wastewater|
|Morristown, Town of||Morris|| |
Implementation of a community forestry plan with tree planting,
|Trenton, City of||Mercer|| |
Community education in East Trenton including promotion of home
Recipients of $10,000 grants
|Asbury Park, City of||Monmouth||Enhancement of a community food garden|
|Eastampton Township||Burlington||Sustainable park landscaping including native plants and a rain garden|
Highland Park, Borough
Implementation of a school based food garden project that includes
|Lindenwold, Borough of||Camden|| |
Development of a sustainable master plan element and energy
|Maplewood Township||Essex|| |
Education and outreach programs involving a youth group to connect
|Milltown, Borough of||Middlesex||Development of municipal and community carbon footprints|
Ocean, Township of
Implementation of a community outreach program to encourage
|Somers Point, City of||Atlantic|| |
Construction of three rain gardens; one garden will enlist the
|Summit, City of||Union|| |
Implementation of a city-wide “Buy Local” initiative and green business
|Vineland, City of||Cumberland||Installation of a 3.7 kW wind turbine for Landis Sewerage Authority|