Beechwood Park: presentation to Boro Council 3/19/12

On Monday night, March 19, 2012 Cindy Kennedy and Peter Ardito, members of both the Harrington Park Green Team and the Environmental Commission, had the opportunity to appear before the Harrington Park Mayor and Council at their regularly scheduled meeting. On behalf of the HPEC Chairman Peter began by thanking the Mayor and Council for setting aside in the 2012 town budget $5000.00 to be used in conjunction with an ANJEC matching grant for an updated Environmental Resource Inventory of Harrington Park.

Peter, with Cindy’s assistance, then moved on to the subject of the recent damage done to Beechwood Park by unknown parties. He used photographs and showed a  four foot long American Beech trunk to the Mayor and Council to help put into perspective the total scope of the destruction at Beechwood Park.  Cindy presented a list with a count of 52 trees chopped down, their trunk sizes ranging from 2″- 6″ in diameter (and ages from ? 10- 50 years). The demonstration log was estimated to have an age of 30 years, which allowed the Mayor and Council members to see firsthand an example of the loss of forest resource that had occurred.

Peter went on to let the Mayor and Council know that the HPEC was going to use this event to help raise public awareness of the importance of proper care of our public parkland and natural, protected forest and wetlands. He invited them to work with the HPEC to strengthen our current Tree Ordinance and review enforcement and, if necessary, penalties for those who willingly cause destruction to public property.

Mayor Paul Hoelscher let Peter know how grateful the Mayor and Council were for all the work that the Green Team and HPEC were doing for the town, especially the energy savings from the recent energy audit and subsequent heating/cooling efficiency improvements that were having a very positive impact on the Town’s budget. Peter pointed out that the credit really belonged to the Green Team, spearheaded by Dr. Mary Ann Schran who really made the savings happen through her tireless efforts and diligence in working towards Harrington Park’s certification in the Sustainable New Jersey program.

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