32 Municipalities Receive Grants to Implement Sustainability Projects

on Apr 12, 2016

Grant recipients from 16 NJ counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren

At an event held today in Cranford Township, Sustainable Jersey announced the 32 New Jersey municipalities selected to receive a Sustainable Jersey small grant funded by the PSEG Foundation. Four $20,000 grants, eight $10,000 grants and twenty $2,000 grants were distributed to fund a variety of projects including reclaiming paved surfaces for community gardens, protecting community tree cover, water conservation, green infrastructure, natural resources protection, park revitalization, promoting healthy lifestyles and green team capacity building.

“These grants support green teams and municipalities working to bring innovative sustainability projects forward that will shape the future of their residents for years to come,” said Donna Drewes, who co-directs Sustainable Jersey with Randall Solomon. She extended her congratulations to all of the towns that received grants. “The grants we’re awarding today will also help build capacity as municipalities move sustainability programs forward,” Drewes said.

The PSEG Foundation has contributed over one million dollars in funding to the Sustainable Jersey Small Grants Program. “Environmental, social and economic issues are the cornerstone to the PSEG Foundation’s support and we are committed to leading the communities in which we serve towards a more sustainable future,” said Ellen Lambert, president of the PSEG Foundation. “These projects will have a lasting impact to neighborhoods throughout New Jersey.” 

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

  • Four $20,000 Grant Recipients: Ewing Township, Fort Lee Borough, Monroe Township and Mount Arlington Borough.
  • Eight $10,000 Grant Recipients: Cranford Township, Berkeley Heights Township, Hillsborough Township, Keyport Borough, Kinnelon Borough, Mount Holly Township, Perth Amboy City and Winslow Township.
  • Twenty $2,000 Grant Recipients: Absecon City, Audubon Park Borough, Bergenfield Borough, Bernardsville Borough, Brigantine City, Hawthorne Borough, Holland Township, Jamesburg Borough, Mansfield Township, Maplewood Township, Margate City, Morris Plains Borough, Mountain Lakes Borough, New Providence Borough, Roosevelt Borough, Toms River Township, Union Township, Vernon Township, Wall Township and Washington Borough.

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. Currently, 77 percent, or 434 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities are participating in the municipal certification program. 

Recipients of $20,000 Sustainable Jersey Project Grants



Project Title

Project Summary


Fort Lee Borough

Go Green Fort Lee: 15th Street Sustainable Garden

Will create recreational gardening plots and provide space for communal educational gatherings to focus on the topics of sustaining the environment, health and wellness, and social interaction among isolated individuals including residents of a nearby assisted living developments for disabled fixed-income adults and seniors.


Ewing Township

Partnering for the Restoration of the Community Forest

Will develop and implement a coordinated response to the discovery of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in its community tree cover. The effort will include education, partnerships, responsible decision-making and informed re-planting. As a result of this initiative a step-by-step guide will be developed to assist other municipalities in addressing EAB infestation.


Monroe Township

User-Friendly Environmental Resources Inventory

Will update the 10-year-old Environmental Resources Inventory (ERI) to make it current and user friendly. The goal is to clearly map out important environmental, civic, and cultural resources so it can be easily and effectively referred to by the Environmental Commission when conducting site plan reviews and other boards and commissions in their decision-making processes. Will work with the high school to produce a short video highlighting the town's environmental footprint that will be run on cable TV, be accessible on the website, and shown at the green fair and other outreach activities.


Mount Arlington Borough

Community Garden for Farmers Market

Will redevelop an underutilized tennis court on Borough -owned property to become a community garden that will augment and promote a school-run  Farmers Market.


Recipients of $10,000 Sustainable Jersey Project Grants



Project Title

Project Summary


Mount Holly Township

Operation Green Sidewalk

Will implement Operation Green Sidewalk, a project targeted towards discovering and evaluating different kinds of sidewalk materials that can be used to repair damaged sidewalks surrounding trees. These studies will also address how these alternative materials can contribute to improved stormwater management. 


Winslow Township

Gear Up and GO in Winslow!

Will launch a series of initiatives geared towards encouraging youth to understand and appreciate the value of a sustainable lifestyle from health and wellness to recycling to local economies.


Perth Amboy City

Marine Debris Prevention

Will strive to achieve a substantial reduction in the amount of waste that enters the waterways as a result of single use plastic items by constructing three reusable water bottle filling stations at various parks throughout the city and conducting a public education campaign.


Keyport Borough


Conservation Education Program

Will launch a town-wide water conservation education program to educate residents and the business community about the positive impact quality water has on ecosystems, the local economy, and drinking water resources.


Kinnelon Borough

Organic Community Garden

Will create an organic community garden with 150 garden beds.


Hillsborough Township

Completion of Easement Inventory

Will develop a conservation easement parcel database detailing the location, type of easement, owner, and size. The information from this database will then be incorporated into the Township's digitized parcel-based ArcGIS mapping for community outreach and education focusing on the importance of the natural resources protected by the municipally held easements.


Berkeley Heights Township

Impervious Cover Reduction and Stormwater Management

Will implement an innovative program to help address stormwater runoff through the use of rebates to encourage homeowners to construct rain gardens on their properties.  The project is being undertaken in collaboration with Rutgers Cooperative Extension's Water Resources Program.


Cranford Township

i-Tree Inventory

Will complete an i-Tree Inventory of the approximately 7,000 trees along 72 miles of municipal roads allowing the Township to make informed decisions regarding municipal tree management.


Recipients of $2,000 Sustainable Jersey Capacity Building Grants



Project Title

Project Summary


Brigantine City

Recycling Efforts

Will partner with ACUA to create a community education and outreach campaign based on the city's revised Recycling Ordinance.  As part of the campaign, residents in the City will be receiving a 96-gallon recycling cart to encourage positive recycling practices.


Margate City

Gardening by the Sea Native Landscaping

Will install an ocean friendly demonstration garden and water collection system at the city's municipal complex and conduct educational workshops for city residents. Project partners include: Sustainable Margate, Margate City Public Library, South Jersey Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, Tighe Middle School Ecology Club, and the Southeast Chapter of the NJ Native Plant Society.


Absecon City

Morton & Traymore Park Project

Will develop a sustainable design for a park in Absecon that has become neglected.  Sustainable Absecon will partner with the Emma C. Attales Middle School where students will have the opportunity to create their own designs, while residents from the surrounding neighborhoods will be allowed to view the designs and provide comments or suggestions for improvement.


Bergenfield Borough

Victory/ Gardens 75 Years Later

Will develop victory gardens working with the school district, the garden club, and four municipal departments to promote health and wellness and good eating habits.


Audubon Park Borough

Community Garden

Will create a community garden. 


Maplewood Township

Enhanced Website, Social Media, and Marketing

Will upgrade the website and enhance social media to become a more interactive community site hosting a wide range of sustainability topics and initiatives in the region and promote existing projects.


Holland Township

Expansion and Regionalization of Farmer's Market

Will expand the Farmers Market in partnership with neighboring townships.


Jamesburg Borough

Setting Our Sights on Certification

Will work towards certification in collaboration with neighboring towns and participation in a multi-town/school district green fair.


Roosevelt Borough

General Operating Support

Will continue to pursue goal towards achieving Sustainable Jersey certification by following up on recommendations from the 2015 Environmental Resources Inventory and increasing public outreach efforts.


Wall Township

Restoration of Allenwood Park Native Garden

Will reconstruct the town garden that has deteriorated over the years. The project will incorporate community and student volunteers, and serve as an example to the community of the benefits of cultivating native plants and effective gardening techniques without the use of pesticides.


Mountain Lakes Borough

Capacity Building Grant

Will help fund the non-mandated materials recycling program and water conservation education program.


Morris Plains Borough

Capacity Building Grant

Will expand education and outreach efforts in order to increase community awareness and participation related to the recycling program and other sustainable actions residents can implement in their own homes.


Toms River Township

Capacity Building Grant

Will work towards achieving Sustainable Jersey certification. 


Hawthorne Borough

Native Plant Project

Will help support native plant innovation project with purchase of native plants, outreach promotional materials, and other necessary equipment.


Bernardsville Borough

Capacity Building Grant

Will support a variety of green team initiatives including education and outreach efforts, the community garden, and flood hazard mitigation research.


Vernon Township

Greenway Recreation Path

Will help complete the construction of a 17.5-mile-long recreational path.


New Providence Borough

Community Garden

Will construct a deer-free community garden in order to provide residents with the opportunity to learn about healthy gardening techniques to cultivate fresh and all-natural produce.


Union Township

Green Team Re-Activation

Will re-energize the green team through a series of new appointments that will encourage a greater amount of activity to do sustainable action items.


Washington Borough

Farmers' Market

Will expand the Farmers' Market by purchasing additional equipment and implementing strategies to attract additional vendors and customers throughout the season.


Mansfield Township

Shower Better Water Conservation Education Initiative

Will undertake a demonstration project on the implementation and education about WaterSense showerheads, a device that been estimated to conserve about 2,300 gallons of water per year.



Camden County

“Winslow Township is very excited to begin some great projects aimed towards our youth thanks to the $10,000 Sustainable Jersey program grant. The Township highly believes that investing in the health of our youth is key to the future success of the Township. Building a positive rapport between our youth and the Township is something the Township takes very seriously – and something we look forward to building upon throughout this year.” - Barry Wright, Mayor, Winslow Township

Essex County

“Maplewood appreciates receiving this grant and the recognition of our efforts to promote sustainability in our community and region. We recognize the key role that municipalities can play in addressing threats to our climate. Maplewood will continue to be a leader in preserving and protecting our environment.” –Victor De Luca, Mayor, Maplewood Township

Monmouth County

“Sustainable Jersey has been a valuable resource to the Borough of Roosevelt, helping our community focus on ambitious yet achievable goals for improved sustainability.  We are grateful for all the support we have received, including a Sustainable Jersey Small Grant award this year, which will help us further advance our projects and progress towards Bronze Certification.” –Eitan Grunwald, Chair, Roosevelt Environmental Commission, Borough of Roosevelt

“The Wall Township Environmental Advisory Committee is appreciative to receive this small grant because, without question, we are able to beautify our community with an attractive native restoration garden for residents to enjoy for many years to come.” - Wilma Morrissey, Chair, Environmental Advisory Committee, Wall Township

Morris County

“The Mount Arlington mayor and council as well as the green team are very thankful for this grant. It will enable us to repurpose and revitalize a tract of Borough property to create our community garden project that has been in the planning stage for the last two years now a reality.” - Andrew Cangiano, Councilman and Green Team Chair, Borough of Mount Arlington

“The Borough of Morris Plains is honored to be selected to receive a $2000 capacity building grant, which will help us to further our efforts in engaging our residents and businesses in environmentally friendly practices.” –Laurie Fu, Council member/Green Team Coordinator, Morris Plains

Ocean County

“Toms River Township is committed to providing a safe and sustainable community seeking to optimize the quality of life for its residents by assuring clean land, air and water, and improving working and living environments for future generations.  I gratefully acknowledge the funding and support from Sustainable Jersey for future projects and activities for the Toms River Green Team.” –Thomas F. Kelaher, Mayor, Toms River Township

Passaic County

“On behalf of the Borough of Hawthorne, the Green Team is honored to be awarded the Sustainable Jersey Capacity Building grant to implement our native plant innovation project to enhance the biodiversity in our community.   We will be planting native plants into the landscape of property owned by the Borough of Hawthorne, as well as identified members of the Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce, where it is suitable outdoor space for the addition of native plants.  The Green Team has established partnership between the Borough of Hawthorne and the Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce to develop and implement sustainable projects to benefit the residents of Hawthorne.” –Rayna Laiosa, Chair, Environmental Commission/Green Team, Borough of Hawthorne

Somerset County

"The work of our Green Team has been recognized by the community and surprisingly, new projects are being recommended that they were not aware of prior to receiving the grant." –Kevin Sooy, Mayor, Bernardsville

“Land preservation continues to be a top priority in the Township, a complete inventory and GIS mapping of our existing conservation easements will help maintain and coordinate Hillsborough’s open space planning initiatives.” –Frank DelCore, Mayor, Hillsborough Township

Sussex County

“The Vernon Township Greenway Action Advisory Committee is very excited to receive this $2000 grant to help offset some the administrative costs of pursuing our goal to build a breathtaking greenway and recreational path in our Township. In these hard economic times, the GAAC needs to seek out any funding sources necessary to reach this goal set by the Mayor, Council and all residents of Vernon. We look forward to reaching our certification goals set forth by Sustainable Jersey keeping our community vibrant and sustainable for future generations.” –Michael Furrey, Chairperson, Greenway Action Advisory Committee, Vernon Township

Union County

“The Township of Union is excited to reinvigorate our Green initiatives with the Small Grant from Sustainable New Jersey. We are proud of how far we have come, but recognize how far we still need to go to ensure a solid, and environmentally conscious future for all of our residents.” –Manuel Figueiredo, Mayor, Township of Union

Warren County

“The Township of Mansfield is excited to have received this grant to assist in the education of our residents to become a more sustaining municipality.  Minimizing water use, waste and loss over time is heavily dependent on continually evaluating and adopting new technologies and practices.  The Township of Mansfield is mostly in the Highlands preservation area, but as a community we have just begun a focus on general water conservation efforts.  This grant will be utilized to purchase two different types of showerheads that will be distributed to Township residents on an as needed basis. The Township will also be disseminating documents to build awareness with the water conservation processes. The Township of Mansfield looks forward to continuing our successful relationship with Sustainable Jersey and appreciates receiving this grant.” –Shirley Kocher, Mayor, Township of Mansfield

  • Media Releases
  • Home Page News