South Orange

South Orange Environmental Commission Get Statewide Recognition for Parklet & ‘Rapid Lounging’

From the South Orange Environmental Commission:

Walter Clarke and Neil Chambers with ANJEC Award

You may have spent some time in the parklet on South Orange Avenue or kicked back and relaxed in one of the “Rapid Lounges” that popped up here and there throughout the local business district, but did you know how they got there?

They are just two of the results of the collaboration between our Environmental Commission and the South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA), and on Friday, October 13, 2017, they garnered an Environmental Achievement Award for South Orange at the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commission’s (ANJEC) Environmental Congress.

“It’s my extreme honor on behalf of the Board of Trustees to share that our South Orange Environmental Commission is a recipient of the 2017 ANJEC-Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions Award for the rapid lounging program and the parklet initiative. It’s nice to be the ‘Hottest Town in New Jersey while being environmental stewards,’” said Village President Sheena Collum in a Facebook post.

“The Environmental Commission has been working with SOVCA on a number of projects to increase public awareness of the downtown business sector by reclaiming public space and reimagining it as pedestrian friendly hot spots full of culture and life,” stated Neil Chambers, Environmental Commissioner and Landscape Architect, who designed the parklet and conceived the rapid lounging program. Chambers was on hand Friday to discuss those programs and pick up the award for South Orange along with Commissioner Patricia Canning, and Village Trustee Walter Clarke, who were both there to present the recent SO Not Plastic campaign to other New Jersey environmental commissions.

“It’s been an inspiring conference and I’m proud to see our small town be recognized as a leader in the state. I hope South Orange will now inspire other towns to creative solutions that will move us all to a greener future,” added Walter Clarke.

Commission meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at 7:30pm at the Village offices at 76 South Orange Avenue. You can follow the Commission on Facebook at

Video below: Sheena Collum, Bob Zuckerman, Matt Glass, Steve Schnall, Neil Chambers and Walter Clarke explain rapid lounging.

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