The following is from Sustainable Jersey
Sustainable Jersey announced the recipients of the 2016 Sustainable Jersey municipal awards and the 74 towns that have achieved certification. Maplewood, South Orange, and Millburn won the collaboration award which recognizes a municipal green team that has achieved advanced sustainability by building strong partnerships.
“The Sustainable Jersey municipal awards recognize the outstanding work being done at the local level,” said Randall Solomon, who co-directs Sustainable Jersey with Donna Drewes. “We are extremely impressed by the innovative and effective sustainability programs and initiatives of these towns. They deserve to be commended for their accomplishments.”
The Maplewood, Millburn and South Orange Green Teams meet monthly to move collaborative projects forward and from those joint meetings two successful sustainability projects have been launched. The re:Yard program is a community program that recognizes yards for being sustainable and provides 31 credits to complete for certification including water efficiency, sustainable materials, composting and native plants for residents.
The second program is the Essex Community Energy campaign to help local residents get energy audits and use energy inefficiently. Both programs have had multiple community events, websites, social media and an impressive participation rate with residents in all three towns.
Said Mayor Victor DeLuca, “Maplewood is honored to receive the Sustainable Jersey Collaboration Award with South Orange and Millburn… Regional collaborations are important in addressing sustainability issues because so many of the challenges which confront our individual municipalities do not recognize our political borders. The re:Yard and Essex Community Energy programs are two examples of the important programs the green teams are bringing to our three towns.”
Sheena Collum, Village President of South Orange Village agreed stating, “Most of the challenges our municipalities face neither exist in nor can be solved in isolation. Reaching out to share services, ideas, and resources is critical to every municipalities’ future and I am especially proud of our green team’s work with Millburn and Maplewood as it exemplifies how collaboration results in shared success.”
Every year Maplewood hosts Green Day, the largest community environment event in the state. Earlier this month, Maplewood also recently achieved Silver-Level Certification from Sustainable Jersey for efforts in 1) energy tracking & management, 2) a green business recognition program, 4) municipal carbon footprint, 5) sustainable land use, 6) prescription drug safety and disposal, and 7) diversity on boards & commissions.
ABOUT SUSTAINABLE JERSEY
Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs. Currently, 78 percent, or 440 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities are participating in the municipal certification program and223 school districts and 547 schools are participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program. Learn more at www.SustainableJersey.com