Cherry Hill Township hoping to expand sustainability program through grant applications

Cherry Hill Township is hoping to expand its increasingly growing sustainable footprint with the application for two new grants.

At its meeting last week, town council approved a pair of resolutions to submit applications to the Sustainable Jersey Small Grants Program, one for a $20,000 grant and the other for a $2,000 grant. Sustainable Jersey selects just four municipalities statewide to receive a $20,000 grant each year and 20 municipalities to receive a $2,000 grant.

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Township director of communications Bridget Palmer said the township has big plans if it receives the grants. The township has put an emphasis on green initiatives in the past few years and is hoping more residents and businesses will get into the act.

“Our goal, ultimately, is to put together a green business program,” Palmer said.

The $20,000 grant is planned for the Green Business Recognition/Awards program, which would offer incentives to businesses that launch green initiatives. It would also be used to promote businesses’ sustainability success stories.

The township is also hoping to launch a new event if it receives the smaller grant as well.

“The $2,000 grant will go toward a sustainability summit,” Palmer said.

The township stated its desire to host a summit earlier this year. There are discussions of hosting an event during the second quarter of 2015. The event would bring the township and Cherry Hill Public Schools’ green teams together to better align their efforts for the future.

The township is applying for the grants in hopes of taking the next step to increasing sustainability. The projects align to both the township’s and Cherry Hill Public Schools’ sustainability plans. Palmer added the township’s Green Team and the school district will be very involved with these proposed projects.

“It’s all in keeping with our sustainability goals,” Palmer said.

Last fall, Sustainable Jersey named Cherry Hill Township as a Sustainable Champion for 2014. Cherry Hill was the highest scoring municipality in Sustainable Jersey’s certification program. The township is a silver-certified Sustainable Jersey municipality.

Only registered or certified Sustainable Jersey municipalities are eligible to apply for the grants. Municipalities must also have an active green team to apply for the grants. Funds for the $20,000 must also be used to fund a project where a municipality will score points toward its Sustainable Jersey certification. Walmart and PSE&G provide most of the funding toward the grants.

New parking restrictions proposed near Greenwald Park

A revised ordinance will impose further parking restrictions in the Cooper Park Village neighborhood near Greenwald Park.

The Cherry Hill Police Department’s traffic squad recommended further parking restrictions after receiving complaints from residents in the Cooper Park Village area. Residents complained about crowded parking conditions during sports games and other public events at Greenwald Park.

The new ordinance will prohibit parking on sections of Hara Street and School Lane on weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m. from Sept. 1 through Nov. 30.

Council passed the ordinance on first reading at last week’s meeting. The ordinance will be on the agenda for a second reading and public hearing at the next meeting on Feb. 23.

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