Excerpted from the Sustainable Jersey media release- 24 Towns Achieve Sustainable Jersey Certification. New Jersey network of sustainable communities gains momentum. Trenton, NJ (October 9, 2012) – Sustainable Jersey representatives announced today that twenty-four towns have achieved Sustainable Jersey certification, bringing the total up to 125 municipalities that have been certified since the program was launched in 2009. The certified communities are leading the way as many more New Jersey towns are actively working on becoming certified. Sustainable Jersey’s 378 participating communities represent over half of the state’s municipalities and nearly 75 percent of its population….
The certification is good for three years. Of the 24 towns that were certified in this review cycle, 16 towns are being certified for the first time and eight towns have been recertified….
Comment: In Bergen County, Harrington Park and Glen Rock were certified and Park Ridge was recertified.
The program is voluntary, but achieving certification is not easy. Each Sustainable Jersey municipality that is certified at the bronze-level must submit documentation to show it has completed a balance of the program’s sustainability actions, meeting a minimum of 150 points.…a town will select…actions from a potential list of over 117 actions that include areas such as a commitment to environmental stewardship, community gardens, supporting local businesses, conservation of energy and water and waste reduction and recycling.
In addition to reaching the required points, each community has to create a Green Team and select at least two (for bronze-level) … of the seven priority actions that include energy audits for municipal buildings, a municipal carbon footprint, a sustainable land use pledge, a natural resource inventory, a water conservation ordinance, a fleet inventory, and/or Energy Star Portfolio Manager.
Comment: HP submitted and was approved for 170 points in 7 Categories.
Community Partnership and Outreach: Create Green Team, Community Education and Outreach, Education for Sustainability Programs, and Green Challenges & Community Programs.
Energy Efficiency: Energy Audits for Municipal Facilities- Inventory and Upgrade All Buildings.
Greenhouse Gas: Municipal Carbon Footprint.
Food: Food Production- Community or School Gardens.
Natural Resources: Environmental Commission, Natural Resource Protection Ordinances- Tree Protection Ordinance.
Operations and Maintenance: Green Fleets- Fleet Inventory.
Waste Management: Recycling- Recycling Depot, Community Paper Shredding Day, Waste Reduction- Waste Audit of Municipal Buildings or Schools, Backyard Composting Program
“Sustainable Jersey is successful,” notes Donna Drewes, who co-directs the organization with Randall Solomon, “because it champions community-led decision-making and leadership, rather than mandating a top-down, one-size-fits-all plan for New Jersey.” The technical content of the program’s actions are developed with the help of 23 task forces that comprise New Jersey state local officials, experts, non-profit groups, and members of the business community. Recommended best practices/actions are vetted with local government officials. “It’s quite an accomplishment to become Sustainable Jersey certified,” said Pam Mount, Chair of the Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees. “Our certified communities are leading the way with impressive sustainability initiatives in New Jersey while providing a model for towns across the United States.”
Sustainable Jersey is a certification program for municipalities in New Jersey. Launched in 2009, Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that supports community efforts to reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and improve environmental equity. Sustainable Jersey is empowering New Jersey towns to build a better world for future generations. It provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward communities as they pursue sustainability programs. New Jersey is the first state in the nation to have a comprehensive sustainability program for communities that links certification with strong state and private financial incentives, and a fully resourced program of technical support and training. Sustainable Jersey is one hundred percent voluntary and each town can choose whether it wants to get certified and the actions it wants to do in order to achieve enough points to get certified…
For the full media release or more information about Sustainable Jersey please visit these links-Website: www.SustainableJersey.com , Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SustainableJerseyOR Twitter: www.twitter.com/SJ_Program
For more information about Harrington Park’s actions please search this site for “Sustainable Jersey”.