Union County To Host 9th Annual 24-Hour Bio-Blitz Survey
June 14 & 15, 2013 5:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Get out from behind that desk and into the field for an opportunity to be a part of Union County’s 9th Annual Bio-Blitz!
We need your skills, expertise and enthusiasm to help us sample, observe, identify and record fungi, plant & animal species that live in Nomahegan, Lenape and Echo Lake Parks. Help us gain a “snapshot” of the area’s biodiversity and in the process raise awareness among the general public about the importance of parkland as outdoor classrooms and wildlife habitat.
Environmental Commission Accomplishes Much in 2012
– The Cranford Environmental Commission recently released its Annual Report for 2012. Nelson Dittmar, Chair of the Commission, says, “We are very proud of our accomplishments this year, believing that, in a small way, they have enhanced the quality of life and the environment in Cranford. We are very grateful for the support of the Township Committee, in particular our liaison, Ed O’Malley.”
The principal projects in 2012 were the development of stormwater management recommendations, the continuing development of the green business program, our web site My Green Cranford, and an Energy Efficiency Fair.
In September, we recommended to the Township Committee, that it should:
• Pledge to a 10% reduction in impervious surfaces on school and municipal facilities by 2015.
• Amend existing ordinances to include a mandatory stormwater mitigation plan for development proposals that include the addition of 100 square feet or more of impervious surface.
We are working with the current Township Committee to implement these suggestions.
We worked with the Mayors’ Council on Rahway River Watershed Flood Control during the year. We prepared for the Council a list of stormwater goals and ideas. It is summarized at our web site, mygreencranford.org.
Cranford was certified as a Sustainable Community in 2010 by Sustainable Jersey, a statewide program that encourages communities that want to go green to pursue local initiatives and actions that will control costs and save money. Over 350 communities in New Jersey have registered for the program, of which 125 have been certified. Working with The Green Team, we continued some of these programs, including the Green Business recognition program, which recognizes businesses for taking actions that benefit the environment while being economically beneficial. Over twenty-five businesses were certified as being green and received certificates of recognition from the Mayor. We also offered to residents plots in the Community Gardens at Walnut Avenue School.
We expressed our concern to the Township Committee about the proposed removal of hundreds of mature trees at the proposed development on Birchwood Avenue.
Mygreencranford.com serves as a resource guide for residents for issues relating to the environment, energy-savings ideas, and environmental events. There is a resource page with links to helpful green web sites. Visitors have the option to sign up for the e-mail newsletter, which offers monthly tips and news. The Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions awarded us one of its Environmental Achievement awards for the quality of our site.
Sustainable Jersey selected the Township for a $2000 Sustainable Jersey grant for our Backyard Composter Program. The program will be introduced in the spring of 2013 and will educate residents about the benefits of composting. Workshops will be held and compost bins are now available at a reduced rate. Kitchen Collection Buckets will be distributed for free.
In celebration of Earth Day, we sponsored a display of environment-related books and videos at the Cranford Public Library. Over fifty books were available. A similarly themed display was featured in the children’s room. In addition, the Library and we hosted a screening of “A Sense of Wonder,” a docudrama about Rachel Carson, author of “Silent Spring.”
We held an Energy Efficiency Fair in June at Hanson Park. The Fair included interactive demonstrations, children’s activities, and refreshments. We conducted a workshop of the step-by-step method to build and install rain barrels. Residents were able to buy their own rain barrel kits. We sold energy efficient lighting kits.
In conclusion, Dittmar noted, “I am looking forward to continuing many of these programs in 2013 and starting new ones. Anyone interested in the Commission can send an e-mail message to me at email@example.com or come to our next meeting on February 4 at 7:30 at the Community Center. Click here
to read the report.