Winners of the 2017 Environmental Achievement Awards:
Caldwell Environmental Commission | Pollinator
Pathways/ Monarch Waystations
The Caldwell Environmental Commission created Pollinator Pathways and Monarch Waystations at the Caldwell-West Caldwell schools, the Caldwell Library, a pocket park, a church, a convent, and the Women’s Club.
This effort benefited not only the bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, but school children and residents who were able to learn about monarch butterflies, their dependence on milkweed, and the role that pollinators play in agriculture as well as providing food and shelter for migratory insects.
Essex County Environmental Commission | Essex County
Environmental Commission Roundtables
The Essex County Environmental Commission has been holding a series of roundtables for environmental commissions throughout the county. The speakers cover a variety of topics, including open space, urban forestry and tree ordinances, water-wise communities, environmental grants for municipalities/finding funding, and alternative fuel vehicles in municipalities. Following the presentations, commissioners share their latest projects, successes, and challenges and offer up suggestions for further action.
Mount Holly Environmental Committee | Detention Basin
The Mount Holly Environmental Committee converted four local detention basins, totaling about 2.2 acres, into native meadows. The project allowed for increased water filtration to remove sediment and non-point source pollutants, restoration of water quality, restoration of native habitat for pollinators, improved aesthetics, and reduced maintenance requirements.
South Orange Environmental Commission | Parklet and Rapid
The South Orange Environmental Commission partnered with the South Orange Village Center Alliance to install a temporary parklet and a rapid lounging program. The parklet is a temporary re-use of two car parking spaces reimagined into a beautiful wooden parklet with native plants and flowers, along with tables and chairs for commuters, shoppers, and passersby a place to stop and enjoy the neighborhood. The rapid lounging program takes under-used locations and temporarily turns them into lounging areas replete with Adirondack chairs, ottomans, and side tables. Both of these initiatives encourage more foot traffic and community.
Washington Township Environmental Commission (Gloucester) | Community
The Washington Township Environmental Commission undertook a suite of projects focused on increased community engagement. Instead of their usual Earth Day celebration in the park, they decided to switch to a month-long format of activities to celebrate Earth Month. They partnered with the Open Space Advisory Committee, schools, the public library, and community groups for a series of events including gardening class, an art competition, community garden planting, a display of the Environmental Resource Inventory, a rain barrel workshop, a reforestation project, a build-a-birdhouse workshop, tree planting lessons, backyard habitat workshop, stream and lake sampling, and an owl presentation.
Waterford Township Environmental Commission | Environmental
The Waterford Township Environmental Commission held an environmental t-shirt contest in their schools to increase environmental awareness and participation in the two town-wide cleanups which they hold every year. Since instituting the t-shirt contest, and accompanied by educational programs throughout the district, they have noticed an increase in the number of people participating in the cleanups.
Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission | OPTION GREEN
The Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission, along with the East Brunswick Environmental Commission and the East Brunswick Public Library, have developed a series of lectures dedicated to local environmental education and conservation. Topics have included hydroculture, salamander migration and protection, climate change, small-space gardening, owls of NJ, green purchasing, and a rain barrel workshop. The Option Green series represents the Friends of East Brunswick Environmental Commission’s and East Brunswick Public Library’s commitment to environmental education and lifelong learning.
Morris County Park Commission | Connect-to-Walk
The Morris County Park Commission, in collaboration with the Morris Park Alliance, Montclair State University, TransOptions, the Nomad Group and others, conducted a survey and analysis to determine how to connect high-need neighborhoods, schools, train stations, and bus stops, to local park areas and businesses through the Connect-to-Walk program. The project resulted in a series of maps submitted to the Morristown Township Town Planner for use when planning future improvements. The initiative was funded by New Jersey Healthy Communities Network and the New Jersey Prevention Network.