Sustainable South Jersey awarded more than $17,000 in its first mini-grant program to support local sustainability efforts in the South Jersey region.
The grants fund a mix of local efforts, spanning a wide array of sustainable initiatives in Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties. After 10 successful years operating as Sustainable Cherry Hill, the nonprofit rebranded itself to better define its true outreach in the South Jersey region. Now Sustainable South Jersey, the group is building on its success by helping fund worthwhile projects that meet the organization’s mission: “Driving sustainability in South Jersey to benefit our collective future.”
Schools, non-profit organizations, community groups, Green Teams, and individuals pitched their projects to SSJ through a short online application in January 2019.
“The response was overwhelming,” said Ed Cohen, president of SSJ. “We are supporting individuals, non-profits, and local community groups who are actively creating sustainable changes. The fundees have creative, worthwhile programs needing financial assistance and we’re partnering with them to bring them to fruition.”
The winning projects included:
- Camden Urban Agriculture Collaborative (Camden): $4,988 for the development of an eco-friendly tool-share shed and program engaging community gardens across the city of Camden.
- Community Garden at 3rd and Erie Street (Camden): $3,800 for the enhancement of a monarch butterfly sanctuary and youth-driven community garden on a once-blighted vacant lot in Camden.
- Saddler’s Woods Conservation Association (Haddon Township): $4,000 for habitat enhancement and community outreach in a one-of-a-kind 25-acre old growth urban forest.
- Cinnaminson Invention Convention (Cinnaminson): $500 for inclusion of an invention-based category focusing on environmental sustainability, with prizes for Cinnaminson students in grades kindergarten to 12.
- CATA Food Justice Program (Bridgeton): $1,000 to assist with the vision of creating an alternate food supply for the low-income migrant community in our region – one that isn’t based on exploitation but rather on the fair and just treatment of workers and through sustainable agricultural measures.
- Concerned Citizens of North Camden (Camden): $1,750 for community outreach, monthly meetings promoting resident-driven prosperity in North Camden, and a youth-based plogging (plogging is an fun exercise-based cleanup craze) event focusing on cleaning up litter and living a healthy lifestyle.
- Gloucester County Green Teams Bike Repair Station (Monroe Township, Glassboro, Pitman): $1,800 for one bike repair station to be placed along bike circuit trail to encourage its use.
“There are many innovative projects in the works in South Jersey,” said Michael
Moore, SSJ board member. “Our thanks goes out to the sponsors and contributors who have supported our organization for years.”