Innovative NJ Sustainability Projects at the Local Level Receive Funding

on May 19, 2017

Grant recipients from 16 New Jersey counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset and Warren

Today in Highland Park, Sustainable Jersey announced the thirty-one New Jersey municipalities selected to receive a Sustainable Jersey small grant funded by the PSEG Foundation. Five $20,000 grants, six $10,000 grants and twenty $2,000 grants were distributed to fund a variety of projects including a watershed management plan, rain and community gardens, a green pavilion with a living roof, an invertebrate conservation plan, wildlife habitat conservation, a plastic bag reduction campaign, an environmental resource inventory and green team capacity building.

“These grants support green teams and municipalities working at the local level to build vibrant and sustainable communities,” said Randall Solomon, executive director for Sustainable Jersey. He extended his congratulations to all of the towns that received grants. “The grants we awarded today will build capacity as municipalities move sustainability programs forward and work toward the goal of a more sustainable New Jersey,” Solomon said.

The PSEG Foundation has contributed over one million dollars in funding to the Sustainable Jersey Small Grants Program. “We are proud to partner with Sustainable Jersey to support and help fund projects that provide sustainable neighborhoods, economic development and STEM education to empower a brighter future. These projects will have a lasting impact to neighborhoods throughout New Jersey,” said Ellen Lambert, president of the PSEG Foundation.

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

  • Five $20,000 Grant Recipients: Chatham Borough, Mahwah Township, Margate City, Middletown Township and Toms River Township.
  • Six $10,000 Grant Recipients: Bergenfield Borough, Bellmawr Borough, Clinton Town, Highland Park Borough, Hope Township and Linwood City
  • Twenty $2,000 Grant Recipients: Belleville Township, Bound Brook Borough, Caldwell Borough, Cape May Point Borough, Clifton City, Commercial Township, Delanco Township, Egg Harbor City, Highlands Borough, Oakland Borough, Old Tappan Borough, Peapack-Gladstone Borough, Pompton Lakes Borough, Ridgefield Borough, Runnemede Borough, Sayreville Borough, Washington Borough, Washington Township (Gloucester), Waterford Township and Westwood 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, 79 percent, or 444 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


Margate City

Downbeach Watershed Management Plan

A Watershed Management Plan (WMP) for the Downbeach area (Ventnor, Margate and Longport) will be developed with a focus on addressing flooding risk in the area. The plan will provide tools to assess and mitigate the impact of land use initiatives in the watershed including development and redevelopment activities.


Mahwah Township

A Deeper Shade of Green: Winters Pond Rain & Butterfly Garden

A rain garden between the Mahwah train station parking lot and Winters Pond will be installed. The project will demonstrate alternative stormwater runoff solutions and educate the community on the value of green infrastructure and ecosystem services.


Middletown Township

Poricy Park Green Pavilion

A new pavilion at Poricy Park will be constructed with a LiveRoof modular green roof and irrigation system. It will be used as an outdoor classroom and demonstrate the positive impact that green infrastructure can have upon energy consumption, air quality and water quality. 


Chatham Borough

Invertebrate Conservation / Management Demonstration Project

A demonstration project will be created at Kelley's Pond in Brookside Grove that will provide a habitat for endangered invertebrate species with a focus on the monarch butterfly population and endangered bee species. The project will provide education and passive recreation opportunities for local schools, scouts and residents, while also preserving a Borough asset. The project includes a mosquito management plan, a native species wetlands habitat restoration plan and an educational outreach plan.


Toms River Township


SYnergy: School Youth Energy Initiative

The School Youth Energy (SYnergy) Initiative will improve an underutilized marine lab by building a flexible workspace promoting environmental research and activism, fostering school-community connections and developing adaptable practices for the protection of the New Jersey shore watershed.


Recipients of $10,000 Sustainable Jersey Project Grants



Project Title

Project Summary


Linwood City

Patcong Creek Living Shoreline

To further the green team's goal of preserving and protecting the Patcong Creek, a nature-based living shoreline will be installed to stabilize shore erosion.


Bergenfield Borough

Bergenfield Clean Waters Project (Phase 2)

The Bergenfield Clean Waters Project will continue to catalyze clean-up  awareness and sustainability discussions surrounding the health of its public waterways. Phase 1 included installation of aerators in Cooper's Pond to increase circulation of the water.  Phase 2, funded by this grant, involves the installation of a discrete encatchment device to minimize the amount of litter flowing into Cooper's Pond.


Bellmawr Borough

Community Garden

A community garden will be created to provide the opportunity to learn about social responsibility through sustainable living and promotion of sustainable gardening practices. The garden will increase accessibility to fresh produce and provide nutrition and sustainability programming.


Clinton Town

Water Street Park: Wildlife Habitat Development

The Water Street Park will be expanded to improve the natural ecosystems and sustainability of the area and increase local awareness and appreciation for critical habitats. Native trees, shrubs, herbs and perennial flowers will be planted in place of invasive species to help create a complete butterfly/pollinator and bird habitat. The long term goal is for the gardens is to serve as an official site for collecting and reporting data on bird and butterfly counts and migration.


Highland Park Borough

Plastic Bag Reduction Campaign

A broad-based educational campaign will be advanced to reduce reliance on single-use plastic bags in the Borough of Highland Park. The Borough plans to target its outreach campaign to residents and businesses.  It will also explore how plastic bag bans and fees have worked in other localities in order to see if an ordinance is appropriate for Highland Park.


Hope Township

Environmental Resource Inventory Update

The Township Environmental Resource Inventory will be updated to include current data regarding the community's natural and cultural resources resulting in more informed decision-making.


Recipients of $2,000 Sustainable Jersey Capacity Building Grants



Project Title

Project Summary


Egg Harbor City

Green Team Capacity Building

Grant funds will support operations, including farmers market advertising, website maintenance, signage, educational brochures and other marketing materials.


Oakland Borough

Oakland Bike Infrastructure Expansion

Bike racks will be installed to encourage residents to bike instead of driving cars.


Old Tappan Borough

Organic Community Garden

An organic community garden will be created for residents to cultivate organic fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. The garden will serve as an educational resource for elementary school children. 


Ridgefield Borough

Capacity Building Project

This grant will build the green team's capacity to efficiently and effectively work towards Sustainable Jersey certification.


Westwood Borough

Community Outreach and Participation Program

Funds will be used to develop a Green Team Strategic Plan and expand existing green team membership and participation.


Delanco Township

Moving Delanco Towards a More Sustainable
and Stronger Community

The green team will generate interest in the community about environmental initiatives, such as composting and anti-idling, while pursuing Sustainable Jersey bronze-level certification.


Runnemede Borough

Pollinator Gardens: Plant It, and They Will Come!

Pollinator gardens will be created to help educate residents on the benefits of gardening with native plants and the important role insects play in the ecosystem.


Waterford Township

Water Conservation using Rain Barrels

Funds will be used to purchase rain barrel materials to be distributed to residents during rain barrel workshops lead by the Township's local watershed ambassador.

Cape May

Cape May Point Borough

Sustaining the Point's Natural Resources and Habitats

The green team will work to implement Sustainable Jersey actions that help protect the natural environment and earn points towards bronze-level certification.


Commercial Township

Milkweeds for Monarchs

Recognizing the Township location as a prime staging area for the monarch butterfly migration, the green team will plant milkweed at two sites to help encourage and foster monarch migration.


Belleville Township

Outreach, Expansion, Action

The Belleville Green Team will advertise its initiatives to the community, recruit additional members to bolster local support and establish a twelve-month action plan. The plan will include an assessment of local needs and subsequent implementation of Sustainable Jersey actions that will support bronze-level certification.


Caldwell Borough

Environmental Awareness Campaign: Plastic Pollution & the Plight of Pollinators

The green team will purchase materials related to the disappearing pollinator species and the negative impact of plastic waste to more effectively educate the community on these issues.


Washington Township

Green Team Capacity Building & Water Conservation Education

Funds will be used to better equip the green team for outreach at community gatherings, meetings, educational events and special exhibits, and allow for the printing of a water conservation brochure.


Sayreville Borough

Sustainable Sayreville Connection

The green team will expand its communications efforts through press releases, digital artwork, text for social media and display advertisements, all while working toward bronze-level certification.


Highlands Borough

Recycling Education and Information Mailer

A town-wide mailing will be completed to describe Single Steam recycling and review proper recycling methods for curbside collection and the Recycling Yard.


Clifton City

Clean Air Clifton: Reducing Vehicle Idling Throughout The Community

An anti-idling campaign will be implemented to highlight the current idling statutes and the negative impacts of idling on human health and the environment.


Pompton Lakes Borough

Green Team Activities Management Mission

Funds will be used to develop a plan to pursue Sustainable Jersey certification.


Bound Brook Borough

Green Team Capacity Building Project

The newly established green team will create an action plan to guide the Borough towards Sustainable Jersey certification.


Peapack-Gladstone Borough

Expanding and Promoting Parks, Trails and Open Spaces to Fit Needs of All

Safe walking trails will be created to promote the use of the Borough's open spaces, trails, sporting fields and playgrounds.


Washington Borough

Revegetating Two Borough Properties

Funds will be used to support revegetation of a downtown pocket park and a parking lot to augment an on-going park project near Shabbecong Creek.



We thank Sustainable Jersey for selecting Margate for this significant grant. With these funds, Margate, along with Ventnor and Longport, will be able to complete a Watershed Management Plan which will help the Downbeach area to become resilient to future storm events. This Plan will also help the communities to gain Community Rating System points, which in turn will help offset flood insurance costs. – Michael Becker, Mayor, Margate, Atlantic County


Over the past few years, we have been working to restore Brookside Grove and Kelley’s Pond, which were established as a recreation area in the 1950s, as a passive recreation area for residents and a preserve for wildlife and native vegetation.  We are very pleased to receive this grant, because it will help us move this project forward so that we can improve the health of the pond, plant pollinator-friendly plants and provide nest boxes for birds. And, because the area is located behind an elementary school, this area can help educate our young people on the importance of preserving our natural environment. – Bruce A. Harris, Mayor, Chatham Borough, Monmouth County


We are honored to receive this Sustainable Jersey grant. With this funding, we will be able to construct an innovative pavilion with a green or ‘living’ roof at Poricy Park. The new outdoor space will be an extraordinary example of sustainable design that can be replicated both by residents and local businesses. -- Gerry Scharfenberger, Mayor, Middletown Township, Monmouth County


This grant process has been another perfect opportunity to connect the schools and towns we serve. It addresses goals set by our Board of Education to expand career education, technology applications and sustainability efforts. I know it will benefit students and the community for generations to come. -- David Healy, Superintendent, Toms River Schools, Morris County



It is with great pleasure that I except this award for Bergenfield as we use this grant to keep our historical area clean with a garbage catchment device mounted at the entrance to our pond. The volunteers in town such as the Environmental Committee, green team, church groups, sports teams, Boy Scouts and students will be able to work with our Department of Public Works to easily clean the pond while continuing to educate our residents on keeping our waterways clean and beautiful. -- Norman Schmelz, Mayor, Bergenfield Borough, Bergen County


The Borough of Bellmawr is extremely proud and grateful to receive this generous grant from Sustainable Jersey and the PSEG Foundation. The efforts of our green team, led by Debbie Priolo-Allen and Girl Scout Troop 30215 were valiant and demonstrate a shining example of community involvement. This is a fantastic program, and the Borough of Bellmawr is honored to participate. We look extremely forward to working with our green team and Girl Scout Troop 30215 to utilize the funds towards sustainability projects within Bellmawr. -- Frank R. Filipek, Mayor, Bellmawr Borough, Camden County


The mayor and council along with the Clinton Green Team and Clinton Conservancy Gardens are grateful to the PSEG Foundation and Sustainable Jersey for funding a grant that will help create wildlife habitats for birds, butterflies and other pollinators. -- Janice Kovach, Mayor, Clinton Town, Hunterdon County


In 2008, Highland Park became New Jersey’s first Green Community, and our commitment to the environment is unwavering. This award is another step in our continued efforts toward sustainability. Our Sustainable Highland Park organization addresses many issues to help keep our environment clean and welcoming. We are happy to partner our efforts with our large anchor stores like Rite Aid and Stop & Shop, and our environmentally-conscious merchants throughout the Borough.  -- Gayle Brill Mittler, Mayor, Highland Park Borough, Middlesex County


Hope Township has hundreds of acres of very environmentally sensitive land and as good stewards of our precious land we must continue to make sure we identify and protect all our resources. This grant will help us to update our important Environmental Resource Inventory. We thank the dedicated members of Sustainable Jersey. -- Timothy McDonough, Mayor, Hope Township, Warren County



The Sustainable Jersey grant enables us to accomplish our green initiatives. We are very thankful to have it and we will put it to good use. -- Lisa Jiampetti, Mayor, Egg Harbor City, Atlantic County


We are so grateful Sustainable Jersey saw fit to award us this grant. It will go a long way to ensure we can continue to sponsor programs that educate our residents about how they too can work to reduce energy consumption, increase recycling, and preserve the environment.  -- Nanette Galloway, Chairwoman, Sustainable Egg Harbor City, Atlantic County


On behalf of the Borough of Oakland, I would like to thank Sustainable Jersey and PSEG for the small grants program which ensures that growing communities like ours can make small, but meaningful, improvements to our town. -- Linda Schwager, Mayor, Oakland Borough, Bergen County


I commend the Old Tappan Environmental Commission on its’ procuring a $2,000 grant from the 2017 Sustainable Jersey Small Grants Program funded by the PSEG Foundation. The grant obtained was necessary to create a community garden which will be located in the vicinity of the Old Tappan Senior Center.  Environmental Commission Vice Chairman, Dr. Melanie Rie, is to be commended for her grant writing abilities.  Chairman David Keil and the commission members are recognized for their proactive interests in environmental issues affecting the community.  -- John M. Kramer, Mayor, Old Tappan Borough, Bergen County


The Borough of Westwood will use its Sustainable Jersey Small Grant to fund display advertising to attract new green team members. By expanding the green team to include additional resident members, the Borough will broaden our activity and bring fresh ideas for programs that will help lead the Borough to silver-level certification with our next application. -- John Birkner, Jr., Mayor, Westwood Borough, Bergen County


On behalf of the Delanco Environmental Advisory Board, I am pleased to announce our successful application for the 2017 Sustainable Jersey Small Grant funded by PSEG. With these funds, the Delanco Green Team will generate projects geared towards enhanced sustainability practices. While Delanco has made significant strides in raising environmental awareness, we plan to introduce new aspects of sustainability into the community while raising environmental consciousness. We are thrilled to get started. Thank you.  -- Amber Perlmutter, Delanco Environmental Advisory Board/Green Team Leader, Burlington County


The Runnemede Green Team would like to use this grant money to create a native plant butterfly garden to use as a teaching garden. We hope to teach people through the garden that insects, birds, and other wildlife need native plants in order to survive. We want them to learn that certain insects need certain host plants and hope to demonstrate how beneficial gardens are over lawns.  Another goal we have is to have people become aware of how detrimental pesticides are to wildlife and the environment. We are confident that when they see the beautiful life that is drawn to our garden, others will want the same in their yards. -- Patricia Adair, Clean and Green Team Coordinator, Runnemede Borough, Camden County


The members of the Waterford Twp. Environmental Commission, its green team members, the Waterford Twp. Committee, and our residents are honored to be recipients of this year's Sustainable Jersey grant.   Over past summer months, we have had a growing concern with the lack of rain.  We are currently working on Sustainable action to educate our resident on the importance of water conservation measures.  This grant will be utilized to conduct a Rain Barrel Workshop for our residents in efforts to help achieve our conservation goals.  Thank you, Sustainable Jersey, and the PSEG Foundation for making this opportunity possible! -- Susan Danson, Township Administrator, Waterford Township, Camden County


The residents and visitors of the Borough of Cape May Point share an extraordinary respect for the natural wonders of the Borough and an unyielding commitment to its conservation and protection.  We are delighted and very grateful to Sustainable Jersey and the PSEG Foundation for support to help our community more formalize our commitment to the Borough’s natural resources by becoming a participating community in Sustainable Jersey. -- Bob Moffatt, Mayor, Cape May Point Borough, Cape May County


Commercial Township is excited to join with the Sustainable Jersey program in the Milkweed for Monarchs Project.  Planting Milkweed will provide the migrating monarchs with a much-needed food supply in their journey to Mexico. In addition to helping these beautiful butterflies, this project will provide the people in the township with an opportunity to work together for a common environmental goal that will enrich all our lives. -- John Nardone, Environmental Commission Chairman, Commercial Township, Cumberland County


On behalf of the Borough of Caldwell, I'd like to thank the Sustainable Jersey for awarding us a $2000 grant that will enrich the activities of our Environmental Commission and will continue to help us improve the environment for our residents. -- Ann Dassing, Mayor, Caldwell Borough, Essex County


The Caldwell Environmental Commission is appreciative of Sustainable Jersey and PSEG for giving us the opportunity to expand our resources in our library on climate change for the residents and students of Caldwell. The grant will be used for materials on the plight of pollinators and the dramatic impact that plastics are having on the environment especially the oceans. Both concerns can be addressed by individual actions such as planting a chemical –free native plant pollinator garden and by decreasing the use of plastic especially plastic bags. -- Ann Marchioni, Co-Chair, Caldwell Environmental Commission, Caldwell Borough, Essex County


Our effort to seek certification as a sustainable community has been a real catalyst for us to focus our sights on building and maintaining a healthy environment and strong community. The grant from the Sustainable Jersey program will provide a big boost to our ongoing efforts to reach out to our residents, businesses and other sectors in creating a sustainable future for Washington Township. -- Joann Gattinelli, Mayor, Washington Township, Gloucester County


Thank you so much for selecting Sayreville to receive the 2017 Sustainable Jersey Small Grant in the amount of $2000. Helping the community to understand their role in being green, and the impact that this has on our community, is incredibly important. We are so grateful because this grant provides us with the capacity to showcase our many current sustainable programs, as well as build a strong foundation and inspiration for future sustainable initiatives that benefit every person living and working in Sayreville. -- Elyse Barone, CRP, CCCC, SRMP, Recycling and Clean Communities Coordinator, Sayreville Borough, Middlesex County


The Borough of Highlands is very pleased to accept our $2,000 2017 Sustainable Jersey and PSEG grant. Our green team is excited to use these proceeds to educate our residents on our Single Stream Recycling program. We will be releasing a flyer, mailed to all households as well as incorporating the information on the flyer in our Borough Calendar which will be printed on 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper.  Many thanks Sustainable Jersey and PSEG for helping us do great things with this small grant. -- Carolyn Broullon, Council President, Highlands Borough, Monmouth County


The City of Clifton is honored to have been selected to receive a 2017 Sustainable Jersey Small Grant so we can work to further improve the City’s air quality and create a healthier future for our children.  We are looking forward to partnering with our community stakeholders on our vehicle anti-idling campaign and can’t wait to get started on this project! -- James Anzaldi, Mayor, Clifton City, Passaic County


We are thankful to Sustainable Jersey for awarding the Borough of Pompton Lakes with a small grant. This will provide our town with an important boost in our goal of attaining Sustainable Jersey certification.  -- Michael Serra, Mayor, Pompton Lakes Borough, Passaic County


On behalf of the Borough of Bound Brook, I am pleased that Sustainable Jersey is supporting our community. This grant will provide valuable assistance. Over the next year, we will continue our efforts to make Bound Brook a more sustainable and environmentally friendly place to live, work and visit. -- Bob Fazen, Mayor, Bound Brook Borough, Somerset County


A grant from Sustainable Jersey enables Peapack and Gladstone to conduct a comprehensive review and planning of its recreational master plan, with an eye toward sustainability and the evolving needs of our multi-generational community. We’re thankful for the funding and opportunities the grant presents to our residents. -- William Muller, Mayor, Peapack-Gladstone. Borough, Somerset County


We are very excited and grateful to receive our third $2,000 Sustainable Jersey Small Grant which will be used to plant drought-resistant, native species, including pollinator plants, in our downtown pocket park and on borough-owned land near Shabbecong Creek. These plantings will attract birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife and improve these areas for recreational use by the residents of Washington Borough and visitors to our community. --- David Higgins, Mayor, Washington Borough, Warren County

  • Media Releases
  • Home Page News