Mayor’s Column — Voorhees receives Silver Certification Award from Sustainable Jersey

Voorhees Mayor

On Nov. 15 at the Annual New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference, along with representatives of our Green Team, I was proud to accept the Silver Certification Award from Sustainable Jersey. The silver certification is the highest level a municipality can attain and Voorhees was one of only 25 municipalities that reached this level in 2016.

To become Sustainable Jersey certified at the silver level, Voorhees submitted documentation to show it had surpassed the minimum requirement of 350 action points by completing 41 sustainability actions and earning 385 points. In addition to reaching 350 points, each silver level community had to create a green team and implement at least three of 11 priority actions. The Township completed four of these actions through a sustainable land use pledge, a natural resource inventory, a municipal fleet inventory and a prescription drug safety and disposal program.

Municipalities must further prove that they have excelled in areas such as improving energy efficiency and health and wellness, reducing waste, sustaining local economies, protecting natural resources and advancing the arts. Collectively, the 440 participating Sustainable Jersey towns are a powerful force in New Jersey, and we are proud to be one of only 41 towns in the state to attain this highest level.

Efforts to achieve silver level certification for the Township were spearheaded by our Sustainable Voorhees Green Team, a subcommittee of the Voorhees Township Environmental Commission. This volunteer group works as an extension of the Township’s municipal government, focused on sustainability planning, education, and the implementation of innovative projects that positively impact the quality of lives now and into the future.

The Voorhees Green Team members include Edward Hale (Chairman, Environmental Commission), Judson Goldsborough, Valerie Brown, Lawrence Spellman, Marianne Leone, Linda Cherkassky, Dmitry Cherkassky, Fredrik Khayati and Ronda Urkowitz.

Sustainable Jersey is successful because it champions community-led decision making and leadership, rather than mandating a top-down, one size fits all plan for New Jersey municipalities. Certified communities are leading the way with impressive sustainability initiatives in New Jersey, while providing a model for towns across the United States.

On behalf of the Township Committee and the Voorhees Community, congratulations to the Green Team and thanks for your continuing efforts in making Voorhees a sustainable community.

**Santa Arrival and Tree Lighting — Presented by Rettinger Fireplace Systems (www.rettingerfireplace.com) at the Voorhees Town Center on Friday, Nov. 18 starting at 6:30 p.m. The annual 36-foot holiday tree lighting will follow Santa’s arrival. Bring your pets and have their photos taken with Santa every Monday evening at 6 p.m. beginning Nov. 21 through Dec. 19. For more information visit www.voorheestowncenter.com/holiday2016.

**The Lions Club will host “Breakfast with Santa” on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Lions Lake Park Banquet Facility, 101 Dutchtown Rd., Voorhees. Santa moves from table to table to visit with the children so bring your camera. For more information, call Dennis Hunt at 856–795–4273.