Sustainable Jersey Meeting Minutes

November 30, 2009

 

In attendance:† Jackie Bay, Mary Rosseland, Nicole Wright, Ellen Emr, Fred Profetta and Mark White

 

The Green Team of Mountain Lakes met in the high school media center with two representatives of other local Green Teams in order to learn more about their experiences with Sustainable Jersey certification.

 

Mark White, representing Chatham Borough, spoke about the Green Initiatives Committee that successfully completed the required actions and is waiting to hear if they have achieved certification.†† His advice was:† a.) Donít be intimidated by the scope of the project but identify actions and supporting paperwork that is already existing; b.) Upload information immediately and hold people accountable so that one person is not left holding the bag at the deadline; and c.)† Identify community resources and divide and conquer so as to not overwhelm the green team.† His team had 10 members drawing from scouting organizations, high school club, Mayor and Council members and interested community members.† He spoke of his efforts to compete for a grant and how disappointed he was that they hadnít made it despite a well-written proposal and a worth project.† We encouraged him to update it and re-submit next year.†

 

Fred Profetta, representing Maplewood, spoke about his Green Team approach that consisted of making certification another objective of the town government and hence, his Team met during the working day and consisted solely of municipal employees except for the Chair of their Environmental Commission.† He stressed the importance of municipal buy in and participation in order to make progress.† He said that it must become a political necessity w/o top down obstruction.† He said that he wished that they had done a better job of integrating the community sooner and working with kids more effectively.† Example of community events that they did were:† a.) Hosted a Green Drinks event, b.) Started an annual Green Fair with music and booths (event actually makes $), and c.) Sponsored a challenge event in which residents pledge to turn down their thermostats to save energy (reduced electricity usage 6% in last 2 yrs).† Events are important to build an identity for the Team and to spread the word.† ††Fred talked about how his team successfully got a Walmart grant and his advice was to craft a cohesive project that touches many aspects Ė broadly encompassing schools, community, municipal, for example.† He also took a tour of the Borough with Steve Shaw and identified two ways in which he believes our town could make significant progress Ė getting solar on the large flat roof of the high school and improving energy efficiency in our older housing stock.† He questioned whether there was any opportunity for hyrdo energy with our dams.†

 

Next Team Meeting:† January 21 in Borough Hall