Highland Park Receives $10,000 Sustainable Jersey Grant for Public Library Rain Garden

Highland Park received a financial boost to its efforts to manage stormwater at the Highland Park Public Library, thanks to a $10,000 grants from Sustainable Jersey, a statewide nonprofit based at the College of New Jersey that researches best practices for what communities could and should do to contribute to a sustainable future.

The grant will support the Borough’s efforts with Rutgers Cooperative Extension to install a rain garden at the library. This will be one of ten green infrastructure projects already in the community. Grant funds will also be used to create educational signage at each site in order to create a self-guided tour that tells the Borough’s green infrastructure story and educates residents on how to create their own rain garden.

“From our microgrid project that can power the Borough during emergencies, to opposing gas-fired power plants in neighboring towns, to our plastic bag ban, to our aggressive tree-planting schedule, Highland Park has long displayed and acted on its commitment to environmental sustainability in large and small ways. I am delighted that we have been selected to receive a 2022 Sustainable Jersey grant, generously funded by PSE&G.” said Gayle Brill Mittler, Mayor of Highland Park.

“This initiative at the library is a clever way to both address a gnawing problem at the library and to also raise awareness of best practices in green infrastructure management. I look forward to seeing through this project’s implementation,” Mayor Brill Mittler added.

The Sustainable Jersey grant awards fund a range of projects across the state including a mobile farmers market; a climate adaptation plan; rain gardens; environmental resource inventories; complete streets improvements; stormwater and flooding mitigation projects; outdoor classrooms; pollinator gardens and more.

“As we work to achieve a sustainable New Jersey, our organization understands how important it is to help municipalities and schools build on the progress they are making at the local level,” said Randall Solomon, executive director for Sustainable Jersey. “The Sustainable Jersey grants, funded by the PSEG Foundation, build capacity and help our communities take meaningful steps to faces issues such as the climate crisis, a growing equity divide and environmental pollution. Congratulations to the municipalities, schools and districts that received grant funding today.”

The PSEG Foundation has contributed $2.8 million dollars in funding to the Sustainable Jersey grants program for municipalities and schools. “The PSEG Foundation is committed to helping build sustainable and thriving communities by empowering and investing in the people, environment and infrastructure of the communities we serve,” said Calvin Ledford, PSEG director of Corporate Social Responsibility and president of the PSEG Foundation. “Supporting Sustainable Jersey and local municipalities, schools and school districts as they build sustainability programs puts resources where they’re needed to positively impact the environment and local communities, having a lasting impact on neighborhoods throughout New Jersey.”

Proposals were evaluated by an independent Blue-Ribbon Selection Committee. The Sustainable Jersey grants are intended to help municipalities and schools make progress toward a sustainable future in general, and specifically toward Sustainable Jersey and Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification.

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