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.
On Tuesday, December 15th, the Borough of Merchantville was pleased to announce that Merchantville has been awarded Bronze level certification from Sustainable Jersey. They extended thanks to community volunteers from the Green Team, Incredible Edible and the Garden Club: Dorothy Foley, Joan Brennan and Cindy Hertneck and, Borough Community Development Director, Mara Wuebker for their contributions towards this achievement.
Dear Merchantville Boro:
Congratulations again on this outstanding achievement!
Community volunteers from sustainability groups in town are working together to steer Merchantville's effort to become a Certified Bronze Sustainable NJ town. Participating groups include members from municipal and community organizations and schools including: The Merchantville Green Team, The Merchantville Shade Tree Commission, The Merchantville Garden Club, Incredible Edible Merchantville and Merchantville School. Over the next two week members will will be collecting information about current and past sustainability actions in the areas of Healthy Communities, Safety, Sustainable Land Use, Historic Preservation, Emergency Event Planning, required for bronze certification. The deadline for this year's submission is May 17, 2020. Stay tuned for updates!
Many towns across New Jersey chose New Year’s Day as the time to ditch plastic bags. The towns are part of a growing sustainability movement across the Garden State to cut back on plastic waste. Under new rules adopted at the October freeholders meeting, Camden County has banned single-use plastic bags, plastic utensils. Additionally, styrofoam food containers and single-serve disposable plastic water bottles - that come in bottles smaller than one liter - will no longer be allowed in county facilities or at county-sponsored events. "The research speaks for itself on the impact of plastics to our oceans, wildlife, and other natural resources," Camden County Freeholder Jonathan Young, liaison to the Office of Sustainability, said. "We cannot deny reality any longer and must begin taking whatever steps we have to reduce our reliance on these harmful materials. The Board is committed to finding environmentally-friendly alternatives that can serve the same functions at a fraction of the cost to our planet's health."