Connect the Lots Camden
CONNECT THE LOTS is a community-driven initiative to activate Camden, New Jersey’s parks and underutilized spaces through the implementation of artistic, cultural, and recreational projects and activities. The goals of the initiative are to engage Camden residents in neighborhood transformation, create safe nodes of activity, and to bring vibrancy to Camden’s corridors and public spaces. Connect the Lots Camden has implemented a ban on single-use plastics, visit Connect the Lots website to learn more.
Voorhees Township Complete Streets
As an exemplary leader in sustainability, Camden County’s Voorhees Township recently finalized implementation of their Complete Streets policy. This recent effort, one of many, began with concerns expressed by the local Green Team regarding bicyclist and pedestrian safety and traffic congestion. With the addition of bike lanes, cross walks, signage, and speed tables, Voorhees has successfully reduced speeds, improved visibility of bicyclists and pedestrians, and improved motorist awareness. In addition to better safety, a greater reliance on bikes and walking as forms of transportation translates to reduced greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and improved health from increased physical activity; and they don’t intend to stop there. Bike lanes, sidewalks, bike racks, and transit shelters have been added since policy adoption, and more ideas are in the works. Excellent job Voorhees!
Rutgers Offers Municipal Leaders Training for Stormwater Management
Rutgers NJ Agricultural Experiment Station, Water Resources Program
Asking the Right Questions in Stormwater Review – E-learning Tool
An interactive E-learning tool was developed for municipal officials as part of a grant awarded by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The tool uses workshop material from the Asking the Right Questions in Stormwater Review training, along with interactive activities to help all New Jersey municipal officials ensure stormwater plans comply with New Jersey stormwater regulations.
To use the E-learning tool, click here.
In 2014 Asking the Right Questions in Stormwater Review trainings were held across the state. The trainings focused on the questions municipal officials need to ask during stormwater plan review to ensure compliance with stormwater regulations.
Training Materials & Resources:
Pennsauken Township Lighting Efficiency
Pennsauken Township officially adopted the Outdoor Lighting Policy on June 14, 2013. This policy will apply to all Township buildings as well new development and redevelopment within the Township when it is economically feasible. The purpose of the policy is to provide regulations for outdoor lighting that will: 1. Provide sufficient lighting shall be provided on each site and along roadways for safety, utility, security, productivity, enjoyment and commerce. 2. Be designed to avoid the creation of hazards to motorists and pedestrians or nuisance to adjoining property owners or residents. 3. Minimize adverse offsite impacts including light trespass, obtrusive light and curtail light pollution. 4. Conserve energy and resources to the greatest extent possible. Pennsauken Township has already begun our program of implementing energy conservative lighting on our athletic fields beginning in September 2010 with our 4 new soccer fields and in September 2012 with the construction of our new football complex. The Township utilized MUSCO lighting solutions to insure that we would cut operating costs, reduce spill light and utilize system monitoring via remote control. The Township has also retrofitted all lighting ballasts and fixtures indoors at our Municipal Building, a concept we plan to continue as we craft an indoor lighting policy for our municipally owned/operated buildings.
Camden City Water Conservation
Water Conservation Ordinance Adopted by Camden City
Camden City Council recently approved a water conservation ordinance to help alleviate problems with reduced water pressure in times of drought. With the increasing effects of climate change and global warming felt throughout the world, long-term droughts are more likely to occur in the near future. It is critical to have a plan in place to deal with these conditions as they arise.
In addition, conserving water makes financial sense. Not only can you reduce your water bill, but the less water you use means the less water that needs to be treated at the City’s wastewater treatment plant, thus keeping sewer rates in check.
Camden’s water conservation ordinance states that, during a drought situation:
- Lawns may be watered two days per week. Properties with even number addresses may only water on Mondays and Thursdays. Properties with odd number addresses may only water on Tuesdays and Fridays.
- Water may only be conducted between the hours of 6:00am and 9:00am or between 5:00pm and 8:00pm
- No single area shall be watered more than 30 minutes per day
- Flowers and shrubs may be watered as needed with a hand-held hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle
- No hose or hose-end watering shall be permitted when it is raining
- Irrigation systems must only run between midnight and 10:00am
We are asking for your support in adhering to these guidelines. The City is committed to water conservation and encourages residents to get on board. Start saving water and money now! And help us make Camden a sustainable community!
For more information on water conservation,
visit www.epa.gov/watersense and www.cleanwaternj.org
For more information on sustainability in Camden,
Gloucester Township Recycling Program
Within the past couple of years, Gloucester Township has enacted an environmentally friendly and efficient way to recycle plastic, glass, cardboard, cans, and paper in our neighborhood by introducing the Single Stream Recycling program. This recycling program has made it easy to put all recyclable items into the same container, instead of separating each by material.
From there, the 96-gallon bin is picked up every week and is transferred to a recycling facility. The time that would normally have been spent sorting through the recyclables is now quickly and productively sorted here, where each plastic, glass, can, paper, and cardboard is shipped away to its designated area.
The Single-Stream Recycling program has helped Gloucester Township in more ways than one. For starters, we’ve increased our recycling and have reduced the trash tonnage in our community. This alone has already saved over $300,000 each year.
Not only has the single-stream recycling program benefited Gloucester Township environmentally, it has allowed our community to unite in our stance to support Breast Cancer Awareness. Each container, painted with a pink lid and ribbon, symbolizes the township’s commitment to the American Cancer Society in an effort to defeat a disease that affects 1 in 8 women nationally.
From breast cancer awareness to an easier, more efficient way to recycle, the Single-Stream Recycling program is a way to make Gloucester Township a greener, cleaner, and united community.
Haddonfield School Composting Program
In Fall 2013, the Borough of Haddonfield launched a food waste composting program in all of the Borough’s schools. Sustainable Haddonfield and a group of Haddonfield Memorial High School environmental sciences students initiated the project as part of the student’s required “Improvement Plan for the Environment” Spring project. The students audited waste and recycling habits in the High School’s cafeteria and tracked the data for presentation to school administrators.
After further research and preliminary discussions, the students invited Organic Diversions to a meeting with their teacher, Sustainable Haddonfield, the school’s principal and custodial staff, and the Borough’s Manager of Public Works to discuss how a food waste composting program might work. Unlike many school districts that contract for their own waste and recycling services, in Haddonfield these services are provided by the Borough. The Borough and School district worked cooperatively to contract with a vendor and implementation of the program in all of the schools. It is anticipated the schools will compost between 3.5 and 4 tons of food waste every month. In addition, recycling rates are expected to increase as students are more deliberate in sorting all of their waste.
After a launch of the project, several different groups in the community have volunteered to provide ongoing support and monitoring to ensure the program is successful: HMHS environmental sciences students are monitoring their cafeteria and have offered assistance to one of the nearby elementary schools, a fourth grade Girl Scout troop has adopted the program for their Bronze award and is preparing school-wide presentations for students, and the middle school environmental club is working on a program at their school and members of Sustainable Haddonfield conducted a series of presentations to seventh graders as part of their Wellness Day events. Overall the program has been well-received with students, faculty and parents and is expected to be a showcase model for implementing sustainable programs in the Borough.
Sustainable Cherry Hill
Act One: “Think Globally, Act Locally.”, 2007-8
When a small group of local community members grew concerned about the type of planet that we, as humans, were leaving to future generations, they took this old bumper sticker adage to heart. Realizing that solving tough community problems such as sustainability would require the formation of strategic and creative alliances, this group of pioneers approached the township of Cherry Hill with the goal of working collaboratively to address these complex issues. A unique and somewhat surprising partnership was created at a time when few local governments were addressing issues of sustainability beyond the traditional conservation of open space, regulation of water quality and tree planting. For a year, this team worked diligently and regularly to educate themselves about the steps that a local government could take to move a whole community towards sustainability. The resulting “10 Point Green Action Plan” passed unanimously in March 2008 by Cherry Hill Town Council
Act Two: Starting a Movement, 2008-9
In their research, the team discovered the importance of engaging, not just local government, but the rest of the community. A key component of the plan was the formation of a community education and outreach group, Sustainable Cherry Hill (SCH). Awarded its independent 501c3 non-profit status in 2008, SCH began the process of developing its mission, goals and organizational structure. Amid much media attention and community “buzz”, SCH held its first all-Cherry Hill official kick off meeting to a packed room at the Cherry Hill Library. A whirlwind year of activity followed that included monthly community educational programs, development of a local Green Drinks branch for social and professional networking “One Green Night a Month”, continued collaboration with Cherry Hill Township on their 10-Point Green Action Plan, the first ever Cherry Hill Earth Day Festival and much more.
Act Three: Taking it to the Next Level, 2009-11
A high point of SCH’s development came in the form of a community visioning conference in summer 2009, “Cherry Hill 2020: Shaping a Sustainable Future. On July 16-18, 2009, 90 people representing a microcosm of the Cherry Hill community joined together for thoughtful and hard work taking place for 16 hours over three days. Their mission was to define a shared vision for sustainability for Cherry Hill over the next 10 years.. Sustainable Cherry Hill hosted the event, which was by invitation only and of no cost to participants. Participants ranged from teens to seniors and represented businesses, faith groups, education, community groups, government and environmentalists. Everyone came to the conference with their own unique set of talents, backgrounds and opinions, but were united in their desire to foster and improve the community. Task forces were created to move the vision forward with the goal of engaging others in the community to join in and expand the reach of these initiatives beyond conference attendees.
The unique, collaborative relationship between SCH and Cherry Hill Township resulted in our community becoming a Sustainable Jersey Certified Community (one of only 30 in the state) in November of 2009. Sustainable 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. The “Green Team”, made up of township staff and community members continued to meet regularly and received the newest “Silver” level of certification in November of 2011.
Act Four:Collaboration and Partnerships, 2011-13
Sustainable Cherry Hill continues to operate in a positive, collaborative manner, supporting the sustainability efforts of neighboring communities, Cherry Hill Township, Camden County, the Cherry Hill School District and the region. Our community led Task Forces thrive in areas such as alternative transportation, gardening, building/business, health, regional partnerships. Now approaching its 5th year as an official non-profit organization, it is estimated that the group has reached almost 20,000 people through the Art Blooms Earth Festival, educational programs, outreach and networking events and have mentored dozens of other towns in South Jersey.
Winslow Township Farms
Winslow Township is the most rural of the 37 municipalities in Camden County and also the largest at 58 square miles. 770.4 acres of open space (including 101 acres of State acquired property) and 558.11 acres of farmland (for a total of 1,328.51 acres) have been preserved through purchase of development easements in Winslow Township. As of 2006, 80% of the Township currently sits in the Pinelands National Reserve, thus restricting future land development. Despite the restriction of development on the reserve, agricultural areas still persist in Winslow. The Winslow Township Environmental Commission has taken the lead, through the connections of its members, to reach out to each farm and farmer’s market in the Township that sells locally-grown produce. We’ve been able to gather information on their hours of operation and whether they’re open year-round or seasonally and have added that information onto Winslow Township’s website. In addition, we have created a one-page flyer which we have available in the Municipal Building and hand out at all of our Environmental Commission and Green Team events.
Haddon Heights Community Visioning
On March 9, 2013, a community visioning was held at the Haddon Heights Borough Hall. Attendees that represented a cross section of the community including residents, businesses, government representatives, civic groups and neighboring communities came together to discuss the future of Haddon Heights. Guided by facilitators from MaGa Sustainability, LLC, attendees were asked to explore both their preservation and transformation values while thinking critically about their need to establish a sustainable future. Based on these values, attendees then established both short and long term actions for residents, government and schools to implement. The information gained from this workshop will be used to help guide the next Haddon Heights Master Plan.
Collingswood Bike Share
Collingswood is the first municipality in Camden County to develop and implement its own bike share program. Bike share is a concept that allows people in cities to borrow bikes at central locations and replace the bike at another location for a small fee. It helps reduce reliance on cars makes it easier to reach public transportations and local destinations. It reduces congestion, emissions and transportation costs.
Collingswood’s bike share is tailored for the need and budget of the Borough. The bike share will recycle bikes – instead of purchasing new bikes for the programs, it uses repurposed bikes that have stayed unclaimed in the police station and also accepts donated bikes. Each bike – or green machine – is painted bright green so they are easy to identify.
Collingswood Farmer’s Market
Collingswood Farmers’ Market’s participating farmers value the opportunity to interact with the people who eat the food they grow. Their presence in our community emphasizes the role New Jersey farming plays in preservation of our landscapes, lifestyles, nutrition, and our local food supply.
Now into our second decade, the Market has become an established part of the social fabric of the community. People come to walk, meet their neighbors, and socialize while they shop for their weekly produce and more. And it’s not just farms—local vendors and activities help make the Market a vibrant and fun destination every Saturday, May through Thanksgiving.
The sooner you can get produce after it’s harvested, the better its freshness, nutrition and flavor. The quality of the produce is superior and the atmosphere is wonderful! The successful weekly Market is also an important link in the local food chain. By providing a venue for selling directly to the consumer, the business of farming is strengthened for the small family-owned farms that are characteristic of our region.
Come on down to the Market, meet the growers, and take advantage of the wonderful harvests they have to offer!