Borough Garners Eco Awards
Merchantville was among top NJ towns recognized at the Annual Sustainable Jersey Awards on Thursday, March 11th. Sustainable Jersey announced the recipients of the 2020 municipal annual awards, which celebrate sustainability excellence, innovation and leadership at a live stream the event on its Facebook page. Merchantville Borough completed required actions to earn 155 points, reaching their goal of Bronze certification and was recognized for its innovation and creativity initiative: Incredible Edible Merchantville. Motivated by climate change and a TED Talk on "How We Can Eat Our Landscapes," two residents realized that securing future sustainability in Merchantville would require inventive community efforts. In July 2018, their proposal for Incredible Edible Merchantville was approved by the Borough Council under the municipal green team with the goals of promoting sustainable living, food justice and environmental education to encourage healthy communities. Since then, participants have been working to create food forests in public and private spaces to grow local food and support the local food economy. Though their work has just begun, IE Merchantville has already developed a vibrant outreach program with more than 30 registered gardens and donating over 200 pounds of fresh produce this summer to supplement local food pantry demands brought on by the pandemic. During this pandemic, municipalities that received Sustainable Jersey’s highest recognition awards set a new bar and aspirational example for other communities to meet as they pursue sustainability goals.