From Maplewood Township:
Maplewood Township has met the rigorous requirements to achieve Sustainable Jersey certification at the silver-level and was the only municipality in the state to achieve Gold Star in Health recognition in the 2023 certification cycle. Municipalities receive Gold Star recognition for reaching high levels of achievement in key dimensions of sustainability. Currently, Sustainable Jersey awards Gold Stars in Energy, Water and Health. The award was announced at the Sustainable Jersey Annual Luncheon on November 14, 2023, in Atlantic City at the New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference. Sustainable Jersey’s participating communities represent over 83% of the state’s municipalities.
“We’re honored by and very grateful for this highest recognition,” said Maplewood Mayor Dean Dafis. “Government plays a critical role in promoting and sustaining public health. We look forward to continuing to develop our health and health equity needs with Sustainable Jersey’s support.”
Maplewood Township completed a comprehensive review of local health data and conducted a community engagement process that uncovered needs surrounding pedestrian safety and mobility which has already led to several road and transportation improvement projects, mental health to which a crisis intervention social worker has been hired to work with police, flooding and heat island effect which has resulted in improved stormwater drainage and tree planting projects, to name a few.
For the 2023 Sustainable Jersey application cycle, 20 towns achieved certification at the more advanced silver-level to make a total of 70 towns that are silver-certified in the program. Silver-level certification requires that a town meet a minimum of 350 points.
“We’re proud to recognize the 2023 award winners and certified towns who have made sustainability an integral part of their municipality,” said Randall Solomon, director of Sustainable Jersey. “Thank you for your leadership, hard work and vision. You exemplify the commitment we need to achieve a sustainable New Jersey.” Certified towns excelled in areas such as improving energy efficiency, health and wellness, reducing waste, sustaining local economies, protecting natural resources and advancing the arts.
About Sustainable Jersey
Sustainable Jersey provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs. As New Jersey faces issues such as the climate crisis, a growing equity divide and environmental pollution, municipalities want to be a part of the solution to these challenges. Sustainable Jersey participants (municipalities and schools) have successfully implemented and documented over 25,569 sustainability actions. Sustainable Jersey has provided over $7.6 million in grants to municipalities, school districts and schools for community-based projects that create healthy and sustainable communities in New Jersey. www.SustainableJersey.com