SJ Innovation and Creativity Award – now at HP School

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASustainable Jersey is a certification program for municipalities in New Jersey that want to go green, save money and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term. Launched in 2009, this is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward communities as they pursue sustainability programs.  The certification program encompasses the three equal, interrelated components of sustainability: Prosperity– support your local economy and use community resources; Planet-– practice responsible environmental management and conservation; People-– embrace social equity and fairness.

As noted in the February 27th posting, Harrington Park completed 14 actions and was awarded 170 points in September 2012, earning Sustainable Jersey Bronze level certification. Harrington Park was also given the Innovation and Creativity Award. “This award recognizes one municipality that contributes most to Sustainable Jersey by pioneering or testing a significant innovation and/or incorporating creativity and the arts into their sustainability efforts. The award recognizes the development of community and social capital through creation of a culture of creativity, originality, and forward-thinking that can lead to new best practices and strategies by which we pursue sustainability.” HP was recognized for the Green Team’s efforts for the Community Education and Outreach action (10 points) and the HP School & NVOT SOPE club’s accomplishments as detailed in the Education for Sustainability action (10 points).

Harrington Park School is a large part of the Harrington Park community and there has been a very positive and supportive collaboration between the HP Green Team and the school since 2009.  Activities at HP School resulted in 30 points, 10 for the Education for Sustainability action, as well as a 10 for a Waste Audit and 10 for a School Garden action. Far more important than the points is the clear change in culture, appearance and practices at HP School in the last few years. There is a beautiful courtyard, which is a central focus and showplace. There is a prolific vegetable garden, and now there are fruit trees and a butterfly garden! Water stations are used, there is active recycling (of note the special programs of Terracycle and single stream recycling since 2010 with the Dream Machine Recycle Rally™). The school hosts spring and fall Walk/Bike to School Days. Lunchroom waste audits have resulted in dramatically decreased waste output. Reusable blue plastic bottles with the school logo were given to the students this past fall. Project Pride students are involved in watershed cleanups, HP TV broadcasts Green Tips, every April is Earth Awareness month… and more!

The Harrington Park Green Team would like to thank Superintendent Dr. Adam Fried for his support over the years.  We would also like to thank the teachers involved with Student Council, the Green Club and the Garden Club- Mr. Bob Leichte, Ms. Sara Howell, Ms. Sally Denbeaux, Ms. Charlyne  Magat, and & Ms. Claire Draijer- as well as many other teachers, staff members, and HSA and other parent volunteers who have helped with the culture change and continue to promote sustainability and environmental education at HP School.

I and C framed print from ceremony

This beautiful print is a NEW combined innovation and creativity award, commissioned by Sustainable Jersey and the NJ Arts Council for 2012. The creator, New Jersey artist, Dan Fenelon, studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and has been exhibiting since 1988. He creates vibrant exciting works; his website highlights stunning public murals, and he was selected by the New Jersey Governor’s office to design and produce the 2012 ornaments for New Jersey’s tree at the National Christmas Tree Display on the lawn of the White House in Washington DC! The Green Team and HP School HAS are hoping to bring Mr. Fenelon to conduct a workshop at HP School.

The journey: the SJ Innovation and Creativity Award was presented to Harrington Park at the Awards ceremony on January 29th. The Green Team presented it to Mayor and Council on February 19th and then to the Harrington Park School Board on March 7th , for display the school library until the fall of 2013, when our term of tenure school board mtg March 7_2_1

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