2006 was a very active year for the Environmental Commission. It is well known by now that we completed and dedicated the solar powered well and composting toilet at the Arboretum thanks to our Eagle Academy and community partnerships. We also began the WHIP landscaping project, including a Monarch Butterfly Waystation. We also established Bluebird Sanctuary with help of John Layton, a member of NJ Audubon Society. And we won two state wide awards:

  • 2006 Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions Environmental Achievement Award.

  • 2006 League of Municiplaities/DCA Innovation in Governance Award

  • In addition the project was highlighted in Geraldine Dodge Foundation Annual Report and the ANJEC newsletter.

    Commission members strive to increase their education by attending as many seminars as we can during the year. We have attended ANJEC seminars in EHT and Hamilton Twp. as well as attending the annual conference in Hamilton Twp (Mercer) with a table display of the Arboretum project. We also attended TDR (transfer development rights) Seminar in Cumberland County.

    Members also went on several field trips to gather ideas and suggestions about our ongoing and planned projects, including to Awbury Arboretum in Philadelphia, a rehabilitated gravel pit in Winslow Twp., and Cape May Nature Center.

    We have continued our Arbor Day Celebrations by dedicating tree at Veteranís Park and conducting the Arbor Day Program at Miller School with the distribution of 600 trees. We also held our annual Arbor Day Poster Contest for the 3rd graders, displaying the posters at Town Hall and giving the children their awards at a Township Committee meeting in April.

    We were able to established relationships with Linwood, Hamilton, Buena Vista and Maurice River and worked on our first joint project with Linwood Environmental Commission, Patcong Creek Clean Up in May.

    2007 Goals

    Our main goal for 2007 is to complete a solar powered meeting room at the Arboretum, again in partnership with Eagle Academy. We can then work with the school board on establishing a curriculum "No Child Left Inside" which would enable the younger grades to use the Arboretum as an outdoor classroom for both physical activity and learning about the environment.

    We will also be working with Eagle students to complete the planting of the gardens which will consist of plants native to New Jersey. Residents can then visit the gardens and use them for ideas for their own wildlife friendly backyards.

    We have received the go-ahead from Township Committee to work on establishing Bluebird Sanctuaries at suitable retention basins throughout the township. The Commission plans to develop landscaping guidelines for developers that will make the basins more wildlife friendly also while still functioning as they are supposed to.



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