Organizations’ cleanup efforts recognized through Cherry Hill Clean Communities Grant Program

Earlier in June, Cherry Hill Township received one of the largest Clean Communities Grants in the state. The $173,431 grant Cherry Hill received is the largest in South Jersey and the 11th largest in New Jersey.

For the second straight year, the township will be sharing some of its grant funds with Cherry Hill-based organizations and nonprofits.

The township is inviting organizations to apply for Cherry Hill’s Clean Communities Grant Program. The township is setting aside some of the money from the state Clean Communities Grant for organizations who volunteer to clean up their local neighborhood.

Last year, the Cherry Hill Township Recreation Department decided to get local organizations more involved in creating a cleaner community. As a result, the department created its own Clean Communities Grant Program. Under the program, local nonprofits can volunteer to clean up an area of town. In return, the organization would receive a $500 grant for its efforts. Up to 15 grants are available in each calendar year.

Township director of communications Bridget Palmer said the township has worked hand in hand with organizations that applied for the program in the first year.

“We provide all of the clean up materials and pick up the trash,” Palmer said.

Over the past two years, Cherry Hill has received large increases in grant money from the New Jersey Clean Communities program. In 2014, Cherry Hill received $124,859 from New Jersey’s Clean Communities grant program. That amount increased to $151,688 in 2015 and then $173,431 this year. Grant money is allocated to municipalities based on the number of housing units and municipal roads in each town.

Organizations such as local civic groups and Scout troops participated in the program last year. Most recently, the Erlton South Civic Association received a $500 grant after more than two dozen volunteers participated in a park clean up in their neighborhood. Earlier this year, The Cherry Hill African American Civic Association also received a $500 grant after participating in a clean up.

Students in Cherry Hill Public Schools have also been volunteering around the township. The DECA Club at Cherry Hill High School West and Environmental Club at Cherry Hill High School East have each received $500 grants from the program.

“We gave $500 grants to each of the high schools because they helped us at our shredding and recycling day,” Palmer said.

Organizations are invited to apply for the program any time during the year. Groups should contact the department of recreation to let the township know what project they would like to do and submit pictures of the location prior to the clean up event.

“We just want to know what the area is,” Palmer said. “We want to make sure it qualifies under the parameters of the Clean Communities program.”

Organizations looking to apply or receive more information on the program can contact the Cherry Hill Township Department of Parks and Recreation at (856) 488–7868 or email to receive a copy of the grant application.