Galloway Township has once again been recognized for its commitment to the environment.
Earlier this month, the township became one of 10 municipalities in the state to be awarded a Sustainable Jersey Small Grant, worth $10,000, according to township officials.
The 2012 Sustainable Jersey Small Grants Program funded by the PSEG Foundation is providing $200,000 in grants to local governments for sustainability projects, according to a release issued by the township.
“Galloway Township is proud to be one of the first Silver-Certified towns by Sustainable
Jersey and to be the recipient of this $10,000 grant,” Mayor Don Purdy said in the release. “This grant will pay to extend The Task Force for a Sustainable Galloway’s mission to promote more Sustainable Landscapes in the township. These landscape transformations will not only create valuable wildlife habitat, but will also act as water conservation measures and provide storm water protection.”
Galloway earned Silver Certificate recognition in 2010. The Go Green Galloway Task Force for Sustainability has been raising awareness concerning various environmental issues during that time, and during its five-year existence overall, including a series of films at the Atlantic County Library System’s Galloway Branch.
The next film screening takes place Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. when it screens the film “Buyer Be Fair.” It comes on the heels of the township's denial of Go Green Galloway's efforts to become a Fair Trade Town.
It has also been holding workshops to raise awareness about sustainable landscaping, officials said.
“This grant will allow us to take our campaign to the next level and provide incentives to those who wish to convert all or part of their yards to native species plants and reduce their lawn size,” Barbara Fiedler said via release.
According to Fiedler, Go Green Galloway will provide 40 “min-grants” of $125 a piece to qualified applicants for the purchase of native plants to replace lawns, as well as non-native and invasive plants.
“This money will also be available to those who choose to build rain gardens to absorb runoff on their properties,” Fiedler said. “These projects will be closely monitored and the funding will be a re-imbursement as projects are completed.”
Fiedler said the program will also award basic, intermediate and advanced certifications to property owners whose properties qualify as sustainable landscapes.
According to Fiedler, the grant winners have all proposed projects that provide sustainable solutions to problems.
Organic curbside waste recycling, storm water runoff solutions, innovative bioswales, water conservation, sustainable landscaping, wildlife interaction plan, community gardens and more have been added to the list of initiatives that the Sustainable Jersey Small Grants program is funding, according to Fiedler.
“PSEG is committed to being a steward of the environment and making meaningful contributions to the communities it serves,” PSEG Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Sustainability Anne Hoskins said. “We are proud to support this program and to fund projects that will make life better in neighborhoods all over New Jersey.”
New Jersey is the first state to offer a program that links certification with strong state and private financial environmental incentives. Sustainable Jersey is a voluntary program, and 67 percent of the state’s municipalities have registered to become certified.
“The impact that these projects will make in New Jersey is incredible,” Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees Chair Pam Mount said. “Aiding towns and Green Teams to achieve their sustainability goals by funding green initiatives will have a ripple effect that will benefit us all.”
Other recipients of the Sustainability Grants include: Chester Township and Chester Boro, in Morris County; Gloucester Township in Camden County; Hightstown in Mercer County; Maurice River Township in Cumberland County; Mount Olive Township in Morris County; Park Ridge in Bergen County; and West Amwell in Hunterdon County.