Sustainable Haddonfield hopes silver certification is on the horizon

Sustainable Haddonfield hopes to take its certification to the next level as it is in the process of attaining silver certification, according to Sustainable Haddonfield co-chair Julie Beddingfield.

Receiving bronze certification three years ago, Beddingfield explained that the borough just recently resubmitted for recertification, which is required of a municipality every three years, and is hoping to be awarded silver certification through Sustainable Jersey.

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During the first round of submissions to Sustainable Jersey, Beddingfield said the borough had 380 points as of June, with only 350 needed to advance to silver certification. Receiving its submission back with comments, she said Sustainable Haddonfield’s submission is now in review by Sustainable Jersey for the second time.

“Most of our energy has been finishing up these projects,” Beddingfield said.

Yet, Sustainable Haddonfield has found time to work with the community recently on some very green initiatives, including the newly implemented composting program, which was adopted by the entire Haddonfield School District only a week ago.

With bins for recycling, composting and trash in every kitchen and cafeteria district-wide, Beddingfield said it is estimated the composting efforts will keep three to four tons of food out of landfills per year.

“That’s a pretty innovative thing,” Beddingfield said. “The kids really want to help.”

In addition, Beddingfield is slated to speak to Haddonfield Middle School on Wellness Day, held on Oct. 11 as part of the district’s Week of Respect.

On Sept. 28, volunteers from Sustainable Haddonfield, Haddonfield Environmental Commission, Haddonfield Memorial High School’s Environmental Sciences program and fifth graders of Elizabeth Haddon Elementary came together to install “roadside rain gardens” on Lincoln Avenue, between Atlantic and Walnut streets to keep rainwater runoff from making its way out into the roadway and into the storm drains, in an effort to keep possible pollutants out of Cooper River.

Beddingfield said a similar project is also planned for Allen Avenue to capture runoff from the parking lots around the PATCO station.

Looking to be awarded their bronze medal, local Girl Scouts will also be meeting with administrators from Elizabeth Haddon Elementary, who are looking to install rain gardens at the school.

In addition, the borough was also recently awarded a $10,000 grant from Sustainable Jersey for a sustainability element to be added to the borough’s master plan.

Beddingfield said there are also plans to create a Complete Street Program through the borough, which will be used by decision-makers when planning road projects throughout Haddonfield. She explained that, instead of just taking the roads into consideration, the program will also survey bike paths and walkways, providing a more comprehensive look at transportation.

“It would be an overall plan on how to create streets in the borough,” Beddingfield said.
She said while plans are still very preliminary, the commissioners have already approved a committee to be put together.

While gaining points for certification, Beddingfield said not all actions are of just Sustainable Haddonfield, but more of a culminated effort between Sustainable Haddonfield and other parts of the community such as the Shade Tree Commission or the Farmer’s Market.

“What we really try to do is make it a community effort,” Beddingfield said.

Collaborative efforts for the upcoming year also include energy audits on all five municipal buildings in the borough, outreach to commercial property owners about cash incentives for energy efficient updates, and an educational sign about beaver habitation that will be affixed to Crows Bridge after it is repaired due to flooding caused by a beaver dam.

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