The Village of Ridgefield Park’s Green Team was awarded a $2,000 Sustainable Jersey capacity-building grant funded by the PSEG Foundation. It was one of 37 grants distributed by Sustainable Jersey to municipalities in fifteen New Jersey counties.
Of the 37 grant awards, there were four $20,000 grants, seven $10,000 grants and twenty-five $2,000 grants that will fund a range of projects including green infrastructure, park restoration, single-use plastic reduction campaigns, raingardens, environmental resource inventories, creative placemaking, green team capacity building and more.
"We are very pleased to accept this grant and commend the PSEG Foundation for their leadership,” said Ridgefield Park Mayor George Fosdick. “The grant will be instrumental in helping our new Arts Association hold our first Summer Arts Fest. Art is an important part of our community and we thank the PSEG Foundation for helping us celebrate it."
According to Mark Olson, Chairman of Ridgefield Park’s Green Team, the grant will be used immediately by the Ridgefield Park Arts Association and will fund an upcoming Summer Arts Fest scheduled for Saturday June 15 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Main and Grove Streets.
“From climate change, to water, waste and equity issues, so many of the big sustainability concerns are reaching a crisis point. This investment in sustainability projects will have lasting benefits to New Jersey,” said Randall Solomon, executive director for Sustainable Jersey. He extended his congratulations to all of the towns that received grants. “We're seeing exciting results from previous grant projects, and we are looking forward to similarly productive, innovative progress from the current group of awardees,” Solomon added.
The PSEG Foundation has contributed 1.9 million dollars in funding to the Sustainable Jersey grants program for municipalities and schools. “Supporting local municipalities in their efforts to build sustainability programs puts resources where they’re needed and aren’t always available, and PSEG is proud to do so” said Barb Short, president of the PSEG Foundation. “Sustainable Jersey helps bring real change and has a lasting impact to neighborhoods throughout New Jersey.”
“Without the grant our Arts Association would not have been able to host this type of event," said Olson. “This grant will allow the Arts Association to make the event free to the public and at the same time it will help to bring the community together to enjoy live music, dance, fine art/painting and sculpture.”
“This festival is all about embracing cultural diversity, and it is diversity that allows us to share the best music and art,” said Olson. “The Arts Fest will be an event where residents will come together to eat dinner on the street and gather around the first 100 feet of Grove Street to listen to music, enjoy some art, and learn more about future projects the Arts Association has planned for the Village.”
According to Solomon, proposals were evaluated by an independent Blue-Ribbon Selection Committee. The Sustainable Jersey grants are intended to help municipalities make progress toward a sustainable future in general, and specifically toward Sustainable Jersey certification. Nearly 90 percent of the New Jersey population lives in a registered or certified Sustainable Jersey community. Currently 450 municipalities, or 80 percent of New Jersey municipalities, are registered with Sustainable Jersey.
The Village of Ridgefield Park is one of 148 municipalities in the state to have achieved the Bronze Level of Certification from Sustainable Jersey.
ABOUT SUSTAINABLE JERSEY
Sustainable Jersey is a non-profit that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs. Currently, 80 percent or 450 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities are participating in the municipal certification program and 323 school districts and 843 schools are participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program. In 2019, Sustainable Jersey is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with a year-long program that will include special events to educate and engage the Sustainable Jersey community and create a vision for the future.
Sustainable Jersey’s partners include the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program. Program underwriters include the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program, the Surdna Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the PSEG Foundation. The Sustainable Jersey Grants Program for municipalities is funded by PSEG Foundation and the Gardinier Environmental Fund. Platinum sponsors are South Jersey Gas (10th Anniversary Sponsor) and New Jersey Natural Gas (10th Anniversary Sponsor). Silver Sponsors are NJM Insurance Group, Bayshore Recycling (10th Anniversary Sponsor), Elizabethtown Gas (10th Anniversary Sponsor), New Jersey American Water (10th Anniversary Sponsor), Jersey Central Power and Light (10th Anniversary Sponsor) and Northfield Bank (10th Anniversary Sponsor). The Bronze Sponsors are Covanta, Greener by Design, Good Energy, Florio, Perrucci, Steinhardt & Cappelli LLC, First Environment, Roux Associates, Republic Services and Ørsted.
Linked In: www.linkedin.com/company/sustainable-jersey