Meets 2nd Wednesday of the Month
2nd Floor of Borough Hall - Red Room
Council Liaison: Ray Guzmán
Co-Chairwoman: Eileen Eastham
Co-Chairwoman: Julia Siegel
Cynthia Chovan Dalton, Secretary
News & Updates
The Rutherford Green Team is a Borough appointed Committee that has been tasked with advising the Borough on wide-ranging Sustainability issues facing the community. Rutherford has been a Sustainable Jersey Certified Community since 2009 – a rigorous rating that measures a community’s engagement and commitment to creating sustainable environment through their actions, programs and outreach. The Green Team is made of up appointed Volunteers and relies heavily on community participation in its various programs and advocacy. The Green Team has focused on the following key areas of advisement and engagement within the Borough:
• Waste & Resource Reduction
Waste is an issue economically as well as environmentally. The amount of waste generated in our community is tremendous, and there are more and more challenges in finding viable markets for recyclables. The Green Team has been working on education and legislative issues to find solutions to reduce the amount of waste generated through the promotion of re-use – whether that be through composting food and yard waste, cut it and leave it landscaping, fix-it events, limiting single-use items and promoting reusable food/beverage items, shopping or delivery bags. For those items that cannot be reused, the Green Team has sought to improve communication of current recycling programs available through the Borough, County and surrounding Community including the promotion of safe disposal of drugs and medications.
• Complete Streets & Bike Advocacy
The Green Team advocated the Borough the adoption of a Complete Streets policy that was adopted on March 22, 2011. The policy requires that all modes of transportation and mobility be considered during the safe planning of road and sidewalk improvements whether that be walking, biking, public transit or motorized means. In 2014 a Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan was completed that identified improvements that could be made to Borough Streets, several of which have now been adopted including bike lanes, improved cross walks and improved visibility at intersections.
The Green Team also focused our attention on making sure there were Safe Routes to Schools, educating our children through annual 3rd Grade Bike Rodeos and promoting wider community safe bicycling through monthly escorted recreational rides.
• Connection to Nature
One of the earliest initiatives the Green Team took on was the creation of a Community Garden located along Erie Ave at Grand Ave adjacent to the Katie’s Corner playground. The garden was a vision of local residents that wanted to see the abandoned land site of the old Rail Station turned into a vibrant garden. With demonstrations of green roofs, rain barrels, backyard composting and native pollinator friendly plantings, the community garden is an inviting outdoor classroom. Just East of the Garden, the Green Team partnered with the then Shade Tree Committee to create a Street Tree nursery at first raising trees from whips to now staging young trees before planting around town. When weed control became an issue the Green Team helped find non-toxic alternative herbicides that the DPW now has begun to use at other sensitive locations around town. The Green Team regularly partners on educational outreach efforts with the Shade Tree Commission on meeting the goals and objectives of Rutherford’s Community Forestry Plan and helped advocate for the Borough’s pledge to support NJ Wildlife Action plan.
• Climate & Energy
With rising global temperatures, more frequent severe weather events and limited and finite natural resources, focusing on sustainable use of water and energy along with preparation for extreme weather is important. The Green Team hosts educational opportunities for residents, businesses and Borough officials around Green Infrastructure and StormWater Management, energy and water conservation, renewable energy production, electric vehicles, and extreme weather event planning including identifying vulnerable populations.
• Community Health & Wellness
A Sustainable Community incorporates environmental, economic and socially equitable issues into planning, operations and investments. For the Green Team, this has meant advising, encouraging and working together with other Borough departments and committees as well as the greater community at large. Examples of this include the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, Safe Routes to School, Town-wide cleanup day, Lead Education, and business community outreach.
• Find out More
The Green Team meets monthly on the second Wednesday at 7pm at Borough Hall 2nd floor Red Room. The meetings are open to the public. Subscribe to our mailing list, follow us on social media or check back here for the latest news and events about the Rutherford Green Team.