About Sustainable Camden County
Camden County is the first and only county in the State to have an Office and Director of Sustainability. The County’s Office of Sustainability manages a number of greenhouses on the Lakeland Campus in Gloucester Township. We grow approximately 15,000 plants (both annuals and perennials) for the Camden County parks, saving the County over $10,000 annually. The Camden County branch of the Rutgers Master Gardeners program supplies the expertise and volunteer labor to care for the plants while they’re growing in the greenhouses.
Why Have a Sustainable Program?
Having a sound sustainability program provides a roadmap to conserving resources, promoting innovation and saving money. In addition, as the possibility of having to deal with events like Superstorm Sandy on a more regular basis seems likely, it’s critical to include resiliency and sustainability into all our projects and planning. There’s an old saying that if you can’t measure it, you can’t control it. Practices such as water conservation, energy efficiency, waste reduction, vehicle fleet management, green purchasing, green building design and investments in innovative technologies, such as renewable energy generation, are all part of a sustainability plan and need to be measured so we can track our progress against our goals. Plan 2018, Camden County’s Sustainability Plan, will help us do that in the most effective, efficient, and transparent way.
Hydroponic Greenhouse Program – In October 2016, we launched a new hydroponic greenhouse program, which will enable us to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables year-round that will be used to supply lunches for our County senior programs in addition to generating revenue by partnering with local restaurants, such as the new Cooper House Restaurant, that will purchase what we’re growing.
Tool Lending Library – In October of 2015, we opened the first Tool Lending Library in New Jersey in the Regan Building, which is part of our campus. All of the tools in the Tool Library have been donated by residents. Membership to the Tool Library is free, and it is open to the public on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Learn more.
Sustainable Jersey -Our office works closely with many of our municipalities on a state-wide certification program called Sustainable Jersey. To date, 13 of our towns are certified at either the Bronze or Silver level and all 37 have been registered for the program. We are one of only two counties in the State to have all of its municipalities registered for the program. Our Office also helps writes grants for our towns that further their ‘green’ programs – they have received more than $100,000 from Sustainable Jersey over the past two years.