Tavistock passed a resolution to participate in the Sustainable Jersey program at their borough meeting this week, solidifying all 37 Camden County municipalities will be participating in the program.
“This is the realization of a goal we set for ourselves in 2012. It is the culmination of a lot of hard work, coordination and planning,” said Freeholder Michelle Gentek, liaison to Sustainable Camden County. “Only one other New Jersey county has attained full participation. That was Mercer which only has 12 municipalities.”
Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs. Currently, over 406 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities are participating in the sustainability certification program.
Randy Solomon, so-director of Sustainable Jersey, highlighted the achievement.
“I want to congratulate the Freeholder Board, Michelle Gentek and all of their partners that have come together to reach this important milestone,” Solomon said. “Camden County has the full spectrum of communities, from urban to rural, large to small. Getting every community in the county to participate in Sustainable Jersey shows that this is an issue that adds value to people’s lives at every level. I’m excited to see what the future holds with 37 new Green Teams working in their communities and partnering with each other across the region.”
After becoming registered, many towns work to become certified by completing energy efficiency, water conservation and fleet management audits and plans. In addition, towns also create community gardens, outreach initiatives and educational programs.
Currently, 12 Camden County municipalities are certified at either of the two levels, bronze or silver. They are:
Camden — Silver
Cherry Hill — Silver
Collingswood — Bronze
Gloucester Township — Silver
Haddon Heights — Bronze
Haddon Township — Bronze
Haddonfield — Silver
Pennsauken — Bronze
Runnemede — Bronze
Stratford — Bronze
Voorhees — Bronze
Winslow Township — Bronze
In addition to certification, Camden County towns have been awarded approximately $100,000 in grant funding through the program since 2012 to further support their sustainability efforts.
“These grants go a long way in helping municipalities achieve their sustainability goals,” Gentek said. “Working together, we can make a difference protecting the environment and saving precious resources for future generations.”