We are pleased to announce that Merchantville has achieved ‘Sustainable Jersey’ Bronze Certification! To become ‘Sustainable Jersey’ certified, Merchantville submitted documentation to show it had completed a rigorous amount of required sustainability actions, meeting a minimum of 150 action points. Merchantville was certified this year with 155 points. Gaining this certification helps save money and gain more resources through Sustainable Jersey grant opportunities. Sustainable Jersey also offers training and expert help. Overall, gaining this certification helps conserve valuable resources and create a better future for Merchantville.
This journey began with the establishment of the Green Team led by the efforts of local resident and previous councilman, Griffin Kidd, in 2017. “Many individuals in the town were doing great things, and going for this certification allowed us to organize in a powerful way,” stated Dorothy Foley, the main organizer of the certification process. The actions implemented over the past few years were all documented and certified by Sustainable Jersey for points.
These points include:
● Adopting ordinances for the creation of a Green Team
● The investigation of Brownfields
● The adoption of the Sustainable Land Use Pledge
● The ‘Buy Local’ Campaign of businesses in town
● The creation of the Merchantville Community Gardens
● The creation of an environmental documentary
● The weekly farmers market, Market off Centre
● The adoption of ordinances to make Merchantville’s public spaces Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free
● The creation of the Innovation Community Project 1: Incredible Edible Merchantville TED Talk
● The creation of the Innovation Community Project 2: Storm Drain Program
● The creation of the Innovation Community Project 3: Welcome Pollinators
● The creation and adoption of a Community Forestry Management Plan
● The creation of the Prescription Drug Collection program
Mayor Ted Brennan recently described the Incredible Edible project: "Three years ago, a group of inspired residents adopted a mission of connecting our community by promoting sustainable living, food justice and good health through the creation of edible landscapes across our small borough. Though their work has just begun, they have already developed a vibrant outreach program with more than 30 registered gardens, donating over 200 pounds of fresh produce this summer, to supplement local food pantry demands brought on by the pandemic. Incredible Edible Merchantville envisions a town filled with accessible, edible landscapes and I look forward to supporting their work, as an integral part of our town's overall sustainability strategy."
The Green Team would like to offer a special thank you to Dorothy Foley, Cindy Hertneck, Joan Brennan, Mara Wuebker, and many countless others for their tremendous work to gain this achievement. It was the work of the town and all the individuals within it. The Green Team strives to obtain gold certification and complete and start more sustainable actions. “The ultimate goal is to have sustainability be integrated into every town decision”-Dorothy Foley
To get involved with Merchantville’s Green Team and Sustainability initiatives, please like the Green Team’s Facebook
page. To learn more about and participate in Sustainable Jersey free workshops and events held across the state, visit www.SustainableJersey.com
The Mayor’s Committee for a Green Future of the New Jersey League of Municipalities has promulgated a municipal certification program and organization called Sustainable Jersey, and, the purpose of Sustainable Jersey is to enlist municipalities in a concerted state-wide effort to improve the environment and promote sustainability and, the Borough of Merchantville has worked with the Green Team since 2017 on sustainability initiatives, now formally recognizes and establishes the Green Team and its link to our Sustainable Jersey certification, the Mayor and Borough Council believe it to be in the best interests of the Borough of Merchantville to establish a Green Team in and for the Borough of Merchantville.
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDAINED, by the Mayor and Borough Council of Merchantville that Green Team be and hereby is established in and for the Borough of Merchantville.