32 NJ Towns Get Grants to Make Innovative Sustainability Projects a Reality

on May 08, 2018

Grant recipients from 13 New Jersey counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Essex, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic and Somerset

Sustainable Jersey announced today the thirty-two New Jersey municipalities selected to receive a Sustainable Jersey 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 turtle habitat protection, environmental resource inventories, an electric vehicle charging station, single use plastic reduction campaigns, pond restoration, composting and food waste diversion, creative placemaking in a business district, raingardens, composting and food waste reduction, green team capacity building and more.

“Nothing beats seeing a great idea turned into a reality, especially when that dream realizes benefits for communities and the environment. These grants support green teams and municipalities working at the local level to create 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 1.5 million dollars in funding to the Sustainable Jersey grants program for municipalities and schools. “PSEG is committed to supporting communities in their efforts to provide sustainable neighborhoods and economic development,” said Barb Short, president of the PSEG Foundation. “Our ongoing partnership with 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: Avalon Borough, Hawthorne Borough, Ocean Township and Somerville Borough
  • Eight $10,000 Grant Recipients: Bloomfield Township, Franklin Township (Hunterdon), Garfield City, Millburn Township, Passaic City, Red Bank Borough, Ventnor City and Waterford Township
  • Twenty $2,000 Grant Recipients: Boonton Township, Brigantine City, Burlington Township, Denville Township, Egg Harbor Township, Fair Haven Borough, Folsom Borough, Galloway Township, Glen Rock Borough, Holmdel Township, Manville Borough, North Haledon Borough, Oradell Borough, Palmyra Borough, Perth Amboy City, Ringwood Borough, South Plainfield Borough, Stone Harbor Borough, Wall Township and Woolwich 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. Currently, 79 percent, or 446 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

Cape May

 Avalon Borough

Diamondback Terrapin Nesting Habitat Enhancement Pilot Project

To address the concern of residents, and help protect the habitat of the Diamondback Terrapins, turtle nesting gardens and barriers will be created to prevent the turtles from crossing a busy road where numerous turtle fatalities have been reported.  The Borough will use this as an educational opportunity for residents.


 Ocean Township

Environmental Resource Inventory

The Township's first Environmental Resources Inventory will serve as a guidance document for municipal and county governments, land use planners, and the town's Environmental and Shade Tree Commissions, and will help create a greater sense of the town's natural resources and anything that may threaten those resources.  It will also help the guide the Master Plan process.


 Hawthorne Borough

Gateway to the Passaic River

The Borough will install a raingarden along a popular walkway that provides residents with access to the Passaic River for numerous recreational activities.  The raingarden will serve as a stormwater demonstration project and provide ample educational opportunities.


Somerville Borough

EV Charting Station

The Borough will increase awareness in the community of the environmental benefits and availability of electric cars and charging infrastructure by installing an electric vehicle charging station on Main Street.  Educational material will also be available at the charging site.


Recipients of $10,000 Sustainable Jersey Project Grants



Project Title

Project Summary


Ventnor City

Reusable Bag Outreach and Education Program

The City will enact a robust educational and outreach plan for residents to explain the benefits and details of a recently adopted Single Use Bay Fee Bag Ordinance.


Garfield City

Green Infrastructure Initiative

The City will carry out the recommendations of a Green Infrastructure Feasibility Study by installing cisterns at three city properties and holding a series of rain barrel workshops for residents to improve stormwater management.


Waterford Township

Environmental Resource Inventory

The Township will conduct its first Environmental Resource Inventory to be used as a tool to help make land use decisions, identify potential natural resource problems and sensitive areas, and increase understanding of natural systems within the town.


Bloomfield Township

Composting and Food Waste Diversion

The Township will conduct an outreach and education program to promote household composting and complete a Township-wide food waste audit to determine the feasibility of food waste diversion.


Millburn Township

Take-Out Transitions to Green

The Township will launch a pilot program that will supply local restaurants with sustainable packaging in an effort to discover a way to effectively reduce the amount of disposable take-out containers and plastic bags in the municipal waste stream.


Franklin Township

Rogers Pond Revitalization

The Township will analyze Rogers Pond, a popular recreation site and important water resource for the community, in order to create a long-term maintenance plan that is meant to restore the health of the pond so that residents can once again enjoy it.


Red Bank Borough

Access to Clean Water

The Borough will provide access to clean water and support a plastic reduction education initiative by installing water bottle refilling stations at different parks and use data from them to make informed future planning decisions.


Passaic City

Taste of Market Street

The City will host a creative placemaking event that will highlight the twenty-five Latino restaurants on Market Street and advance the City's efforts to rebrand Market Street and the surrounding district as the Eastside Dining District.


Recipients of $2,000 Sustainable Jersey Capacity Building Grants



Project Title

Project Summary


Brigantine City

Garden Demonstration Project

The City will install a garden demonstration project at the Brigantine Branch of the Atlantic County Library to showcase native plants, pollinator habitats, and provide educational opportunities.  It will be a highly visible project as the site is conveniently located across from the Brigantine Beach Farmers Market.


Egg Harbor Township

Green Team Outreach

The Township will develop an outreach campaign to engage residents in its efforts and work toward Sustainable Jersey certification.


Folsom Borough

Community Garden

The Borough will create a community garden to jump start its green team efforts and help engage residents in their work.


Galloway Township

Growing Our Galloway Green Market

The Township will expand the reach and activities at its current farmers market through advertising and educational events/demonstrations at the market that educate the community about sustainability.


Glen Rock Borough

Boro Hall Goes Bottle Free!

The Borough will install a water refill station and undertake a plastic water bottle education campaign to reduce the amount of single use water bottles in the building.  Compostable cups will be provided for those who do not have a reusable bottle with them.


Oradell Borough

Wildlife Interaction Plan

To facilitate positive human-wildlife interactions, the Borough will create a Wildlife Interaction Plan focusing on the coyote population issues currently impacting the Borough and neighboring communities.


Burlington Township

Free Exchange

The Township will create a free materials exchange program to bring together residents who would like to discard unnecessary or unwanted items with residents who are looking for used items in good condition.


Palmyra Borough

Green Team Outreach

The Borough’s Green Team will increase its impact on the community by creating a new website; presenting at community events; and executing an outreach campaign to promote energy conservation and recycling.

Cape May

Stone Harbor Borough

Green Team Outreach

The Borough's Green Team will increase its outreach and educational efforts on recycling and water conservation at upcoming events, such as the green fair, and encourage residents to think about sustainability.


Woolwich Township

Energy Efficiency Outreach Program

The Township will implement an Energy Efficiency Outreach Program targeting residents and the local business community by sharing information on the NJ Clean Energy Programs available and hosting an educational breakfast event to encourage people to participate in the programs.


Perth Amboy City

Perth Amboy VERDE

The City will create a Green Business Recognition Program and enact an extensive outreach campaign to help local businesses understand and get involved in the program.


South Plainfield Borough

Green Team Outreach

The Borough's Green Team will improve its community outreach to residents by creating a new website, quarterly newsletter, social media feeds, surveys, and informational video.


Fair Haven Borough

Raingarden Demonstrations

The Borough will create two raingardens at the Knollwood Elementary School.  Students will be involved in maintaining the gardens and it will serve as an educational demonstration project for the entire community.


Holmdel Township

Single Use Plastics Campaign

The Township will develop a campaign to reduce single use plastics through information at events and in town-wide communications, modifications to signage on recycling bins in parks, and coordination of "Waste Free Wednesdays" in schools.


Wall Township

Informational Trails

The Township will create educational interpretative signs for a garden and nature trail that will help to engage the community about sustainability issues.


Boonton Township

Green Team Website Improvements

The Township's Green Team website will be upgraded with information on green team goals, member profiles, accomplishments, initiatives and much more.  The goal is for the updated website content to generate new interest among residents and continue to grow the team.


Denville Township

A Lifetime of Green

The Township will hold a series of environmental education seminars focused on providing information on how daily activities can help or hinder the environment.  Seminar content will be tailored for all ages.


North Haledon Borough

Assess Food Waste Opportunities

The Borough will conduct an assessment to identify all of the sources and locations of food waste that will help with the creation of an effective food waste recycling program.


Ringwood Borough

Building a Sustainable Ringwood

The Borough will educate its residents on the importance of sustainability in an effort to create targeted action plans and expand the network of volunteers, partnerships, and funding sources available to support the work of the green team.


Manville Borough

Advancing Sustainable Manville

The Borough will advance its certification efforts by purchasing project materials, working on action documentation, and increasing participation on the Green Team.


"The Borough of Avalon is humbled and deeply appreciative of the grant provided by the Sustainable Jersey program and PSEG Foundation.  We are hopeful that the project will help raise education and awareness for nesting terrapin turtles in New Jersey and provide a template for which this project can be replicated by other coastal communities in New Jersey, and other states.” --Mayor Martin Paglughi, Avalon Borough, Cape May County


“We were so excited to learn Ocean Township was selected to receive this significant grant. It really is a compliment to the hard work of the members of the Ocean Township Environmental Commission, especially Mike Davenport, its newest member. He took the lead in doing a needs-based assessment to help determine the scope of the ERI, including Ocean’s priorities and challenges, long- and short-term goals and other factors. He also pulled the grant application together almost single-handedly. I appreciate the important role he and the other Commissioners play in keeping our community on track. We want to thank Sustainable Jersey and the PSEG Foundation for their support. Ocean has seen significant growth over the past decade, and the grant will allow us to move forward with a comprehensive ERI so we can get a complete picture of our environmental landscape now and manage our growth going forward. Thanks, again.” --Mayor Christopher P. Siciliano, Ocean Township, Monmouth County


"The Gateway to the Passaic River project is a comprehensive plan to enhance, promote, and educate the residents about Hawthorne's waterfront open spaces, increase the biodiversity by enhancing the area wildlife and to provide access to the Passaic River for recreational activities.  This project is designed to develop a connection to and appreciation of this unique riverside ecosystem by the residents of Hawthorne, now and for future generations.” -- Mayor Richard Goldberg, Hawthorne Borough, Passaic County


"The Borough of Somerville is extremely pleased to receive a grant from Sustainable Jersey, funded through the PSEG Foundation to assist with the procurement and installation of its first public charging station for electric vehicles. The installation of the public charging station exemplifies our commitment to increasing the awareness of environmental benefits and offers a service for those visiting Somerville.  As the County’s premier downtown, this installation will significantly attract drivers of electric vehicles and enable these visitors to enjoy our downtown experience.” --Mayor Ellen Brain, Somerville Borough, Somerset County



"Thank you, Sustainable Jersey and PSEG Foundation, for this generous grant. Last month the Ventnor City Board of Commissioners enacted an ordinance that will require stores to charge a fee for single use bags at checkout.  This grant will allow our Green Team to provide a first-class outreach program to educate our residents and visitors on the importance of this initiative to rid plastic debris from our beautiful beachfront community.” -- Mayor Beth Holzman, Ventnor City, Atlantic County


"Garfield is very honored to accept an award for our Green Infrastructure Initiative. Being able to implement cisterns at multiple private buildings, as well as oversee creation and installation of rain barrels at private residences, will allow Garfield to demonstrate how coordinated large and small-scale efforts can actually improve water quality within the Lower Passaic River area.” --Councilwoman Erin Delaney, Garfield City, Bergen County


"Waterford Township is beyond grateful to have been selected as a recipient of a $10,000 grant award from Sustainable Jersey. We are even more grateful for the dedicated volunteers on our Environmental Commission who work endlessly at creating a better, more sustainable community for our residents.  Without them, the accomplishments that have been made so far would not have been possible.   We look forward to our Commissions continued success as together we work towards creating a better and more sustainable environment for our town.” -– Mayor William A. Richardson, Jr., Waterford Township, Camden County


"We are very proud of Millburn Township’s Green Team.  The Township applauds the team’s collaboration with our neighbors and its commitment to successfully apply for grant money that will benefit programs in Millburn and our surrounding communities. The practice of shopping with reusable bags and other sustainable shopping habits is something we should all strive to achieve.” --Mayor Cheryl Burstein, Millburn Township, Essex County



"The Township of Egg Harbor thanks the PSEG Foundation and Sustainable Jersey for giving the Township’s Green Team a budget to do outreach in the community. The Green Team will put this grant to good use and look forward to working with Sustainable Jersey into the future.” --Mayor James J. McCullough, Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County


"Thank you for giving us this opportunity to initiate the start- up of our Community Garden. We appreciate the commitment of our Green Team and our future Gardener’s and we are able to preserve and utilize the natural resources in the Borough of Folsom.” --Mayor Louis J. DeStefano, III, Folsom Borough, Atlantic County


"Thank you for acknowledging Galloway Township’s efforts to promote sustainability in our community.  Even in the face of financial challenges that have gripped Atlantic County our Chief Sustainability Officer and “Go Green Galloway” team has managed to expand their reach and programming to effect real change. I am very proud to have such an impactful group call Galloway home and it is our volunteers that truly make the difference.  We live in a suburban, yet environmentally sensitive area, and just as the police protect us from crime; it is a comfort to know that our “Go Green Galloway” team is a watchdog for our environment so that our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy all that this wonderfully diverse area has to offer. Thank you again for awarding Galloway with the 2018 Sustainable Jersey grant funded by the PSEG Foundation.” -- Mayor Anthony J. Coppola, Galloway Township, Atlantic County


"On behalf of the Borough of Glen Rock, I'd like to thank Sustainable Jersey and the PSEG Foundation for offering these wonderful grant opportunities to various New Jersey municipalities as a way to encourage sustainable programs. We are particularly grateful for the $2,000 grant that Glen Rock was selected to receive. It will be a great help to our Glen Rock Environmental Commission and Green Team as they consistently raise the bar with respect to local efforts that help to assure a sustainable future.” –Mayor Bruce J Packer, Borough of Glen Rock, Bergen County


"We applaud the PSEG Foundation for their commitment to sustainability and our community. We thank PSEG and Sustainable Jersey for awarding the Township a grant which will be used for a free exchange of household items that are still serviceable. Our residents can now enjoy the beneficial re-use of gently used household items that might otherwise end up in a landfill.” --Mayor Brian J. Carlin, Burlington Township, Burlington County


"On behalf of the Borough of Stone Harbor I am very pleased to accept the $2,000 PSEG Foundation grant award offered through Sustainable Jersey. The Borough of Stone Harbor Go Green Team in cooperation with all borough departments worked hard to achieve Sustainable Jersey Silver Certification in 2017.  This funding will help with our ongoing effort to preserve our beautiful seashore community.  The funding provided will help fund the annual Go Green Fair as well as the Borough's plans to educate homeowners and visitors on the importance of proper recycling. On behalf of the entire Stone Harbor community I would like to thank PSEG for generously providing grant funding that allows all communities the opportunity to continue to develop initiatives that will promote sustainability both now and in the future.” --Mayor Judy Davies-Dunhour, Stone Harbor Borough, Cape May County


"We are always looking for innovative ways to assist our business owners’ growth. This Green Business Recognition offers a twofold opportunity in promoting a healthier environment, while advancing the initiatives of our local businesses. I want to thank the Sustainable Jersey grant for supporting the vision and initiatives of the City of Perth Amboy, as we aim to build a cleaner environment for our entire community.” --Mayor Wilda Diaz, Perth Amboy City, Middlesex County


"On behalf of the residents of Fair Haven, I would like to thank Sustainable Jersey and the PSEG Foundation for awarding Fair Haven a $2000 grant, which will be used to install a rain garden in one of our elementary schools.  Fair Haven is located on the Navesink River in Monmouth County and our Environmental Commission is committed to installing rain gardens throughout our community to help keep the river clean.” --Mayor Ben Lucarelli, Fair Haven Borough, Monmouth County


"It is an honor for Holmdel to receive recognition, and to be one of the grant recipients of the 2018 Sustainable Jersey Grant Program. On behalf of myself and our Township Committee, I would also like to thank all of our resident volunteers whose dedication and commitment to preserving and enhancing Holmdel’s environment, have helped to make this award possible.” --- Mayor Tom Critelli, Holmdel Township, Monmouth County


"The Sustainable Jersey grant funded by the PSEG Foundation will assist our Green Team in promoting the initiatives important to the environment and our residents.” --Mayor John Speer, Ringwood Borough, Passaic County


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