Sustainable Jersey

sustainable jersey

Mountain Lakes Achieves Bronze Level Certification Under the Sustainable Jersey Program!

In January 2012, Mountain Lakes submitted our application for bronze level certification under the Sustainable Jersey program.  This was a two-year journey led by a sub-committee of the Environmental Commission know as the “Green Team”.  The Team, led by Jackie Bay from the EC, worked with almost every organization in town to complete a series of environmental actions for which we were awarded points.

Browse through this section of the site and learn what actions were performed to earn a Bronze certification.

Final Actions Bronze

We’re Not Done Yet!

Mountain Lakes Potential Silver Action Items
Action Points Responsible Party
Create Green Team 10 Environmental Commission
Solar Demonstration Project 10 School
Community Education & Outreach 10 School + EC + Borough Hall
School-Based Energy Conservation Program 10 School
Education for Sustainability Programs 10 School
Green Challenges & Community Programs 10 School + EC + Borough Hall
Green Fairs 10 School + EC + Borough Hall
Community Carbon Footprint 10 School + EC
Safe Routes to School 10 School + EC + Borough Hall
Building Healthier Communities 20 School + EC + Borough Hall
Materials Re-Use Program 10 School + EC + Borough Hall
Grounds & Maintenance Policy 10 Borough Hall + Garden Club + School
Municipal Conservation Easement Inventory 10 Borough Hall + EC
Waste Audit Municipal Bldgs & Schools 10 Borough Hall + Schools
Wildlife Interaction Plan 20 Borough Hall + EC
Raingarden Program 10 EC + Schools + Garden Club
Backyard Composting Program 5 EC + School + Garden Club

Brief Description of What Each Action Entails

Community Education & Outreach:  Choose an environmental topic (energy efficiency, pollution prevention, composting, etc..) and conduct a series of education events such as film festivals, lecture series, media outreach campaigns, study circles, workshops, etc.  Project needs a budget, timetable, advertising and an ending evaluation of program impact.  The League of Women Voters held a series of environmental lunch/film sessions at the library that were well attended.  The films were primarily in 2009 and we don’t have items like budgets and impact statements.

School-Based Energy Conservation Program:  Create a program that promotes behavior modification (turning off computers, lights, etc..) versus improvement to infrastructure.  Enroll in one of two programs:  Energy Education Inc. or SEE Schools for Energy Efficiency.

Education for Sustainability Program:

  •       Incorporate education for sustainability into existing units and course or develop additional units of study
  •       Provide professional development for teachers
  • Identify authentic learning opportunities that engage students in data collection (community asset mapping,   energy use, emissions, waste, water quality testing, recycling compliance) or develop an analysis of sustainability indicators.
  • Incorporate sustainability-focused student service learning opportunities into school programs.  Co-curricular structured learning experiences, experiential learning, cooperative industrial education or after school volunteer programs
  • Enroll in Eco Schools Program EfS

Green Challenges & Community Programs:  Encourage healthy competition among community members while building a shared sense of purpose.  Secure 2.5% of town resident participation in a Pledge to make a change in their lives and codify it by filling out a pledge form.  Maplewood had a competition in which residents turned down the thermostat for a certain amount of time.  The Garden Club has asked members to sign pledges to plant native plants.

Green Fairs:   Hold a green fair that spans municipal, county and business participation.

Community Carbon Footprint:  Establish residential and school base-line carbon emissions and add it to the municipal footprint created in 2011.  Set targets for reductions that align with State targets.  Identify a set of actions designed to achieve the target and draft an Action Plan.  Have the plan adopted by the municipality.

Safe Routes to Schools:  Evaluate existing student travel patterns with actual data (e.g., 90% of students at Wildwood are driven to school).  Create a school travel plan that attempts to change behavior.  Conduct at least 4 walk/bike events within a 2 year period.  We are well on our way with the existing walk to school events – need the upfront data and more of an action plan.

Building Healthier Communities:  Enroll in the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign or YUSA Healthier Community program. Develop a baseline assessment of your Communities fitness level.  Implement a Youth, Employee and Community program to improve health and evaluate the impact.

Materials Re-Use Program:  Create an easy way to residents to swap or sell unwanted items; develop outreach materials; estimate % of residents participating.  Maplewood had a community blog; could also have a town-wide garage sale/swap.

Municipal Conservation Easement Inventory & Outreach:  Prepare a easement stewardship program, a comprehensive inventory and develop community education materials.

Grounds & Maintenance Policy:  Municipal adopts a policy to improve how they manage municipal grounds.  Areas to be addressed:  efficient landscape design, minimize water consumption, use recycled materials and composting and integrated pest management.  The Cove Project is an excellent example and some of the principals could be extended to other municipal parks.

Waste Audit Municipal & School Buildings:  Perform a full waste audit at the largest school or municipal building.  Include current recycling rate and a list of action steps that can be taken to reduce waste.

Wildlife Interaction Plan:  Develop a plan to manage a specific species in town (Canadian geese, bears, deer).  Plan must be developed with community stakeholders and public education must take place.

Raingardens:  Install a raingarden at a municipal facility and educate the public.

Backyard Composting:  Develop a community composting program complete with bins, workshops and publicity.

Get Involved:  Contact Jackie Bay or Marnie Vyff 

** Green Team Mission & Goals ** Green Team Meetings & Minutes **