The Year of the Environment in Moorestown was the focus of the recreation advisory committee’s Feb. 1 meeting.
As noted by Parks and Recreation Director Theresa Miller, Moorestown Mayor Nicole Gillespie and council will devote each quarter of 2022 to different environmental themes.
January through March will prioritize sustainable energy use, April through June will focus on reducing single-use plastics, July through September will tackle sustainable food and the final quarter will address clean air.
Committee members cited examples of how the township can reduce energy use through its recreational facilities and office buildings, including turning off field lights when they’re not in use.
“The reason the lights are on like that is because we have a schedule that we have if a sports team is out there,” Miller noted. “If they leave, we don’t know that, so those lights burn.”
“That would be a great example of making the sports teams aware of … all (they) have to do is text us and tell us (they’re) leaving instead of the lights burning like that,” she continued. “Because we can just turn them off with our phone.”
Committee member Leonard Wagner emphasized potential town-wide initiatives and campaigns to raise awareness of cleaning up.
“It seems like common sense and common decency, but I think people have to be reminded,” he said.
The committee discussed possibly displaying trash from community events as a way to show just how much plastic is disposed of. Member Candace Coleman described an art project involving Moorestown Creates, a subcommittee of Sustainable Moorestown. The art is on display at the Moorestown Public Library.
“We had students create artwork out of recyclable materials,” she explained. “Last year, we focused on plastic bottle caps and the second year, we focused on plastic grocery bags.”
“These projects were just phenomenal, and it really was a great way to just bring to people’s attention,” Coleman added.
Miller suggested ways the recreation department can highlight sustainable food use for the third quarter.
“Maybe there could be some type of information that we could send home to the kids about how to bring their snacks,” she wondered. “Maybe bring an apple with peanut butter in a container … something to that effect.”
After discussing recommended options for producing clean air in the fourth quarter – such as utilizing the township’s parks and bike trails – committee member Dan Posternock made closing comments at the meeting.
“Once these initiatives become a little more robust, I’d be happy to make some appearances,” he noted. “And see if we could utilize some of the volunteers that exist in town that are more knowledgeable than we are on some of the initiatives that we might not either have as much interest in or knowledge about.”