Sustainable Jersey announces new awards to advance sustainability at the local level

on May 07, 2019

Today, Sustainable Jersey announced the thirty-six New Jersey municipalities selected to receive a Sustainable Jersey grant funded by the PSEG Foundation. Four $20,000 grants, seven $10,000 grants and twenty-five $2,000 grants were distributed to municipalities in fifteen New Jersey counties.

The grant awards will fund a range of projects including green infrastructure, park restoration, single-use plastic reduction campaigns, raingardens, environmental resource inventories, creative placemaking, green team capacity building and more.

“From climate change, to water, waste and equity issues, so many of the big sustainability concerns are reaching a crisis point. This investment in sustainability projects will have lasting benefits to New Jersey,” said Randall Solomon, executive director for Sustainable Jersey. He extended his congratulations to all of the towns that received grants. “We're seeing exciting results from previous grant projects, and we are looking forward to similarly productive, innovative progress from the current group of awardees,” Solomon added.

The PSEG Foundation has contributed 1.9 million dollars in funding to the Sustainable Jersey grants program for municipalities and schools. “Supporting local municipalities in their efforts to build sustainability programs puts resources where they’re needed and aren’t always available, and PSEG is proud to do so” said Barb Short, president of the PSEG Foundation. “Sustainable Jersey helps bring real change and has a lasting impact to neighborhoods throughout New Jersey.”

SUSTAINABLE JERSEY GRANTS RECIPIENTS (project descriptions and select quotes below):

  • Four $20,000 Grant Recipients: Caldwell Borough, Elizabeth City, Lambertville City and Trenton City

  • Seven $10,000 Grant Recipients: East Windsor Township, Fair Haven Borough, Manville Borough, North Wildwood City, Roselle Park Borough, Voorhees Township and West Orange Township

  • Twenty-five $2,000 Grant Recipients: Audubon Borough, Cape May Point Borough, Edison Township, Egg Harbor Township, Franklin Township, Frenchtown Borough, Galloway Township, Garwood Borough, Hopatcong Borough, Island Heights Borough, Kingwood Township, Leonia Borough, Metuchen Borough, Monroe Township, Mount Laurel Township, Oakland Borough, Oaklyn Borough, Ridgefield Park Village, River Edge Borough, South Amboy City, South Orange Village Township, Summit City, Washington Township, Westfield Town and Wyckoff 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. Nearly ninety percent of the New Jersey population lives in a registered or certified Sustainable Jersey community. Currently 450 municipalities, or 80 percent of New Jersey municipalities, are registered with Sustainable Jersey.

Recipients of $20,000 Sustainable Jersey Project Grants



Project Title

Project Summary


Caldwell Borough

Green Infrastructure Planning and Implementation

This project will address localized flooding and surface water quality by allowing the Borough to develop a green infrastructure strategic plan and install two demonstration projects to help encourage all sectors of the community to promote their use and installation.


Lambertville City

Ditching Disposables

This project will support the implementation of the City's ordinance banning single-use plastics, passed in October 2018. The green team will undertake a comprehensive public education campaign including a sustainable business forum, community canvassing day, a sustainability lecture, sustainable business awards, and a green business certification program.


Trenton City

Trenton Artwalk

This project will make the gateway corridor from the Trenton Transit Center to surrounding neighborhoods friendlier and safer for non-vehicular traffic. In collaboration with Artworks, public art, creative lighting, wayfinding and other measures will be installed.


Elizabeth City

Green Infrastructure

The City will install five green infrastructure demonstration projects at the Groundwork Elizabeth MicroFarm at the Elmora Branch of the Elizabeth Public Library.


Recipients of $10,000 Sustainable Jersey Project Grants



Project Title

Project Summary


Voorhees Township

Community Visioning

The Township will engage in a visioning process that will serve as a catalyst for developing short and long-term sustainability goals. Community focus groups will help identify sustainability actions of highest importance that the governing body and community can focus on.

Cape May

North Wildwood City

Municipal Cigarette Butt Recycling Program

To address the recent smoking ban on all public beaches in New Jersey, the City is partnering with TerraCycle on a cigarette butt recycling program. All boardwalk and beach entrances will have a box to collect cigarette butts.  Not only will this keep cigarette litter off the beach, but it will reduce the risk of dumpster fires. 


West Orange Township

Pollinator Garden & Outdoor Learning Project

The City will install a pollinator garden and create a companion digital scavenger hunt app developed by West Orange middle and high school students.  The scavenger hunt content can be tailored to all ages and can easily be updated over time. This project will engage the community and educate them about the importance of pollinator gardens for the environment.


East Windsor Township

Etra Lake Park Arboretum Restoration

This project will renovate, restore and upgrade the arboretum, a valuable community asset.  The restoration will include planting native plants and installing informational signage regarding biodiversity on the site. 


Fair Haven Borough

Access to Healthy Water in Parks

Over 100,000 people visit Fair Haven Fields each year. This grant will support an effort to reduce the single-use plastic water bottles brought to the fields for recreational activities and also provide access to healthy water by installing two water bottle refill stations at the highest-use areas in the park. The installation will be accompanied by a robust educational campaign.


Manville Borough

Health, Hydration, and Sustainability

To increase access to healthy water, the Borough will install water bottle refill stations at two elementary schools and the public library.  A plastics reduction education campaign will accompany the installation to remove single use plastic water bottles from the waste stream.


Roselle Park Borough

Environmental Resource Inventory

The Borough will complete its first Environmental Resource Inventory, allowing the town to gain a better understanding of its natural resources, and better adapt to population growth, extreme weather, and become a more environmentally friendly and ecologically conscious community for the benefit of residents, visitors, and wildlife.


Recipients of $2,000 Sustainable Jersey Capacity Building Grants



Project Title

Project Summary


Egg Harbor Township

Natural Resource Inventory Update

This grant will cover part of the cost to update the Township's Natural Resources Inventory, last updated in 1991.


Galloway Township

Green Roof for the Community Garden

The Township will construct a green roof on an existing shade structure at the Township's community garden.


Leonia Borough

Plastic Bag Reduction and Education Campaign

The Environmental Commission and green team will implement a Plastic Bag Education and Replacement program.


Oakland Borough

Green Team Support

This grant will support a variety of projects including The Science of Styrofoam, Green Fair, Non-Mandated Materials Collection Drive, The FLOW Film Festival and more.


Ridgefield Park Village

Summer Arts Fest

The Ridgefield Park Arts Association will hold its first Arts Festival in June to promote the arts and local restaurants.  A display of art by residents will be moved around the village following the festival as part of a new local gallery program.


River Edge Borough

Community Garden

The River Edge Green Team will use the grant for various projects including the creation of a community garden and other community education and outreach activities.


Wyckoff Township

Reusable Bag Education Campaign

The Wyckoff Environmental Commission will initiate a reusable bag education campaign and encourage community participation through a slogan and design contest for the campaign.


Mount Laurel Township

Green Team Support

This grant will support three projects related to certification: planting days, creating educational and outreach materials, and implementing a reusable bag campaign.


Audubon Borough

Wellness Day & More

This grant will enable Sustainable Audubon to complete three actions: Building Healthier Communities, Community Paper Shredding Day, and Recycling and Waste Education and Compliance actions.


Oaklyn Borough

Recycling Education & Outreach

This grant will support the development of training videos targeted to different sectors of the population to educate residents about new Borough recycling policies.  The videos will be posted on the Borough website, social media, and shown during all indoor Civic Association events in 2019.

Cape May

Cape May Point Borough

Municipal Rain Garden

With the help of Rutgers and the County Watershed Ambassador, the Borough will install a 200 square foot native plant rain garden at the front of its municipal building to retain and filter storm water runoff from the roof. 


South Orange Village Township

Food Waste Reduction

The South Orange Environmental Commission will collaborate with Maplewood and Milburn to pilot the EPA’s, “Food Too Good to Waste” (FTGTW) toolkit which provides behavior change and outreach tools designed to assist individuals and households in implementing strategies to reduce food waste in homes.


Monroe Township

Community Habitat Certification Project

Monroe Township is working with the NJ Audubon Society on a certifying its spaces as wildlife habitats through the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). The grant will provide funding for an outreach and education campaign, as well as training, to support residents installing their town wildlife habitat garden which will then enable the Township to attain certification with the NWF program.


Washington Township

Green Team Support

The grant will support projects related to certification: recycling, the arts, and a green business recognition program.  An intern from Rowan University will assist the green team, municipal staff and volunteers in documenting actions and communications.


Frenchtown Borough

Creative Assets Inventory Database Build

This grant will expand the Hunterdon County Creative Assets Inventory from a limited Google platform to a strong, stable database to accommodate a larger collection of creative assets, and allow the county to better understand those assets.


Kingwood Township

Community Education & Outreach for Open Space

To connect Kingwood residents to local open spaces, trails, and nature preserves, a mailing will be sent to all residents with maps and information on all accessible preserved areas in the Township. There will also be a community hike through Kugler Woods.


Edison Township

Green Team Support

This grant will be used to support Edison Sustainable Jersey Green Team efforts to reorganize, revitalize, and attract new members. Educational and outreach materials will be purchased for annual events.


Metuchen Borough

Single-Use Plastic Reduction and Education Campaign

The grant will be used to support a Single-use Plastic and Waste Alternatives Education and Action program. The Borough will partner with several local restaurants and businesses to utilize alternative options for single use plastic products and disposable items.


South Amboy City

South Amboy Green Week

The grant will be used to support “South Amboy Green Week”. The team will purchase advertising and promotional materials to attract attendees, as well as educational materials needed for activities during the "green week."


Island Heights Borough

Green Team Support

The green team will use this grant to recruit additional team members by developing signs, maps and other information discussing their sustainability initiatives.  Workshop materials will also be purchased to assist with educational efforts.


Franklin Township

Community Farmers Market Support

This grant will support activities aimed at increasing attendance at the weekly farmers market such as enhanced marketing, educational weeks focused on community, health and wellness, and establishing new community partnerships.


Hopatcong Borough


The Borough will construct a native plant rain garden at the Hopatcong Senior Center to protect local waterways from chemical and sediment runoff.


Garwood Borough


The Borough will construct a raingarden at the Garwood Little League recreation complex to capture stormwater runoff, in order to prevent infield dirt and pet waste from being deposited in the Garwood Brook and Rahway River.


Summit City

Green Team Support

The grant will support initiatives including the, “Skip the Straw,” campaign, and a reexamination of the existing Passaic River trail system to determine if improvements are needed.


Westfield Town

Zero Single Use Plastics

The grant will help to fund Phase 2 of a multi-phase single-use plastics reduction/elimination campaign. The first phase was targeted to residents, and the Phase 2 will target local businesses and restaurants.



Caldwell is proud to be a Sustainable Jersey town. It has been the initiative of the Caldwell Environmental Commission to participate in the certification process receiving bronze level certification in 2014 and again in 2017.  We were also the recipient of 2017 $2,000 Sustainable Jersey grant funded by the PSEG Foundation. This grant has allowed us to continue our initiatives of decreasing plastics use and increasing pollinator habitat. Caldwell is thrilled to continue this rewarding partnership with Sustainable Jersey by being the recipient of a $20,000 Sustainable Jersey grant funded by the PSEG Foundation.  We anticipate addressing some of our flooding issues by assessing the amount of our impervious cover with the assistance of the Rutgers Water Resources Department under the direction of Dr. Chris Obrupta. - John Kelley, Mayor of Caldwell Borough, Essex County


I’m so proud of the work our environmental commission is doing to educate our residents and empower our businesses to move to a more sustainable future. Their work has made Lambertville a standard bearer for the progress toward more sustainable municipalities. - Julia Fahl, Mayor of Lambertville City, Hunterdon County


The Trenton Green Team will use a $20,000 Sustainable Jersey grant funded by the PSEG Foundation to improve the Market Street gateway corridor, which connects the Trenton Transit Center to the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. In collaboration with Artworks, the City of Trenton will incorporate public art, creative lighting, way finding and other measures to improve the experience of residents and visitors, ultimately making an important transportation pathway safer and more pedestrian accessible. We appreciate Sustainable Jersey’s commitment to funding projects at the local level that build vibrant and sustainable communities. - Reed Gusciora, Mayor of Trenton City, Mercer County


From our exciting programs that improve energy efficiency to the conservation of all resources, the City of Elizabeth is proud to be recognized through Sustainable Jersey. This grant money will help continue to enhance the implementation of the City’s Go-Green initiatives through public education and demonstration of green infrastructure practices, which support cost-effective and environmentally-conscious improvements. - J. Christian Bollwage, Mayor of Elizabeth City, Union County



The City is taking waste that would otherwise be littered across our beach and/or sit in a landfill, recycling and repurposing that material, all the while making donations to charity in accordance with lbs of waste recycled. We are grateful for Sustainable Jersey's financial support to complete this project. - Patrick Rosenello, Mayor of North Wildwood City, Cape May County


We are excited with this opportunity and the support of Sustainable Jersey. We are grateful for their work with the hardworking members of the Open Space Commission and looking forward to the continued improvements this funding will bring. - Robert D. Parisi, Mayor of West Orange Township, Essex County


East Windsor is excited to receive a Sustainable Jersey grant to restore and upgrade our Etra Lake Park Arboretum with signage, access and plantings, to establish an educational center for students and our entire community.  The Township arboretum will serve as a “living” outdoor museum to share information on the legacy of trees and forest ecology in a creative and fun convenient park setting.  We look forward to collaborations with our schools, encouraging residents to learn more about native trees and their role in local landscaping and planning, and providing and promoting self-guided tours materials to share the Arboretum. - Janice S. Mironov, Mayor of East Windsor Township, Mercer County


The Borough of Fair Haven thanks Sustainable Jersey for the awarding of this grant. This grant will help us provide water drinking stations at our heavily used Fair Haven Fields.  - Ben Lucarelli, Mayor of Fair Haven Borough, Monmouth County


Manville is honored and thrilled to receive this much needed grant to install water bottle refilling stations in our town library and elementary schools. It provides our borough with an important infrastructure upgrade while also giving residents an educational opportunity. Sustainable Jersey continues to enable Manville to bring the important concepts of environmentalism and sustainability to our borough and many like it throughout the state of the New Jersey. - Richard Onderko, Mayor of Manville Borough, Somerset County


Roselle Park has made huge strides over the last two years to become a more sustainable, walkable, and livable community. I’m thrilled and honored to accept this grant on behalf of our borough, and we look forward to using it to complete our first Environmental Resource Inventory, which will further support the mission of our borough and our excellent green team! - Joseph Signorello III, Mayor of Roselle Park Borough, Union County



It is with great gratitude that we accept the 2019 Sustainable Jersey Grant funded by the PSEG Foundation. Galloway Township has long been recognized as one of the most progressive adopters of integrating sustainability into municipal government practices. We were among the first to achieve silver certification and our commitment to the environment has been unwavering ever since.  As the largest municipality in the state, we recognize the importance of preserving open space and balancing growth with environmental sensitivity. This grant will be put to good use to help us further our efforts so that we may leave our town in a better condition than we found it for future generations to enjoy. - Anthony Coppola, Mayor of Galloway Township, Atlantic County


We are very pleased to accept this grant and commend the PSEG Foundation for their leadership. The grant will be instrumental in helping our new Arts Association hold our first Summer Arts Fest. Art is an important part of our community. We thank the PSEG Foundation for helping us celebrate it. – George Fosdick, Mayor of Ridgefield Park Village, Bergen County


We are very appreciative of this grant award from Sustainable Jersey.   Our Chairperson, Bonnie Stewart, and the members of the River Edge Green Team, have brought passion and commitment to the "greening" of River Edge.  With this small grant, we will be able to re-vitalize our community garden.  The grant will allow us to have a major spring planting event on May 18th, adding new plants and vegetable varieties to the garden.  We will also be able to construct new walkways and improve the overall aesthetics of the garden area. The event will involve our schools, as well as members of our community. The green team is also hosting a contest to create an innovative addition to the garden completely made from sustainable, reusable materials.   The enthusiasm and awareness brought to sustainable initiatives would not be possible without the members of our green team and the support of Sustainable Jersey. – Edward Mignone, Mayor of River Edge Borough, Bergen County


Mayor Folcher would like to thank the Mount Laurel Green Team on all their hard work applying for and receiving this $2,000 grant.  The Township looks forward to continuing to work with the green team on sustainable efforts. - Kurt Folcher, Mayor of Mount Laurel, Burlington County


The Borough of Oaklyn, like every other town in America, is impacted by the recent changes in the global recycling industry. Thank you to Sustainable Jersey and the PSEG Foundation for helping us build out this important program to educate our residents and businesses on new recycling and waste management best practices, and helping us prioritize a sustainable future for Oaklyn and our neighboring towns. - Robert Forbes, Mayor of Oaklyn Borough, Camden County


South Orange aspires to lead the way in sustainability initiatives and this food waste initiative will have us once again joining forces with our neighbors in Maplewood and Millburn – so three towns will benefit, not just one! According to Paul Hawken’s book, “Drawdown”, making less food waste is the third most effective action that can be taken to slow climate change. In fact, making less waste in the first place is far more effective than composting. I’m proud of our green teams for leading the way and excited for them to spread this message to the wider community. I think we can be a positive model for other communities in the state on this very important issue. Sheena Collum, Village President of South Orange Village Township, Essex County


On behalf of our citizens I would like to publicly acknowledge the selection of Monroe Township to receive a 2019 Sustainable Jersey Grant funded by the PSEG Foundation.  This $2,000 Grant coupled with the efforts of Sustainable Monroe Township will assist greatly in future endeavors. Rich DiLuca, Mayor of Monroe Township, Gloucester County


This grant is a very welcome boost to our sustainability efforts on all the fronts of people, planet and prosperity.  In particular, the funds will help us carry out our recycling education and green business recognition projects and promotion of the arts to further enhance the quality of life in Washington Township.  We are grateful to have assistance from Sustainable Jersey and the PSEG Foundation in our work to make a great community even better. - Joann Gattinelli, Mayor of Washington Township, Gloucester County


Frenchtown Borough is grateful to both Sustainable Jersey and the PSEG Foundation for awarding our municipality with important grant funds toward our Creative Assets Inventory.  As a small municipality with limited resources, these grant funds are a tremendous help and will assist our Borough with its long-term commitment to sustainability. - Brad Myhre, Mayor of Frenchtown, Hunterdon County


I wish to thank the PSE&G Foundation and Sustainable Jersey for awarding Edison Township this $2,000 grant. It will help support our 2019 Ninth Annual Earth Day Celebration and shall provide training for our reorganized Edison Sustainable Jersey Green Team. Thomas Lankey, Mayor of Edison Township, Middlesex County


As we manage our ongoing redevelopment efforts in South Amboy, we are always conscious of the need to do so in an environmentally sustainable fashion.  We are grateful for this grant award which will support our efforts to meet this mandate and ensure a healthy and sustainable environment for present and future residents. - Fred Henry, Mayor of South Amboy City, Middlesex County


On behalf of our Borough Council and all of the residents of the Borough of Island Heights, I commend Sustainable Jersey for the work that they are doing and the help they are providing to communities like ours in our efforts to safeguard our natural resources and beautify our public spaces. - Steve Doyle, Mayor of Island Heights Borough, Ocean County


Franklin Township is pleased and grateful to be a recipient of a PSEG Foundation grant through the Sustainable Jersey program. With the $2,000 we have received, the Township will enhance its Community Farmers Market which provides access to fresh and locally grown foods, community-based services and educational opportunities to our diverse population. These grants help municipalities like ours achieve goals that we strive to meet every day, ultimately enriching the lives all of our residents. - Phillip Kramer, Mayor of Franklin Township, Somerset County


On behalf of Hopatcong Borough and the Hopatcong Environmental Commission, I want to thank Sustainable Jersey for the generous grants awarded to us to install Hot Water Stations for energy savings and to create dual Rain Gardens for control of storm-water runoff. - Michael Francis, Mayor of Hopatcong Borough, Sussex County


On behalf of the Borough of Garwood, I'd like to thank Sustainable Jersey for awarding our community a $2,000 grant to build our first rain garden at our recreation complex. I'm happy to say that what started as a casual conversation at a booth at the NJ League of Municipalities Convention just two years ago has now brought Garwood to bronze certification and this grant, which will be put to good use.  - Sara Todisco, Mayor of Garwood Borough, Union County


We are thrilled to receive this grant to help advance our ongoing sustainability efforts here in Westfield. Thanks to the innovative thinking of our Green Team and their partnership with the Downtown Westfield Corporation, this single use plastics initiative in our Downtown restaurants will be an important new step in reducing waste and promoting awareness among residents. - Shelley Brindle, Mayor of Westfield Town, Union County

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