Home & Garden

Berkeley Heights Resident Val Diamond Wins State-wide Adopt-A-Beach Award

Berkeley Heights Mayor Bob Woodruff was at the award ceremony when Valerie Diamond won the state-wide Adopt-A-Beach Award at the 15th Annual Clean Communities Conference. Credits: Courtesy of the Diamond Family

LAMBERTVILLE, NJ – On May 24, 2018, the New Jersey Clean Communities Council  Valerie Diamond of Berkeley Heights with the state-wide Adopt-A-Beach Award at the 15th Annual Clean Communities Conference held in Lambertville, New Jersey. 

A distinguished crowd was present at this well-attended event, as various towns, counties, groups, and individuals were recognized through assorted awards for their efforts regarding environmental conservation and public lands stewardship.  While certain other awards shared multiple winners, Ms. Diamond, a sophomore at Governor Livingston High School, was the sole winner in the Adopt-A-Beach award category and the only non-adult award winner.

Ms. Diamond, who began participating in the state-wide Adopt-A-Beach Clean Water Challenge last year, elevated her level of participation in this effort this year. Through her group, Val’s Valiants, she led one clean up event in 2017, collecting approximately 75 pounds of litter.  This year, she continued her campaign to keep Berkeley Heights clean and to inspire others to do so as well.  During March and April 2018, Val’s Valiants was involved in leading 6 clean up events, collecting a total of over 550 pounds of litter.

Sign Up for E-News

Proving that one person can, in fact, make a big difference, Ms. Diamond was the spark that ignited her community to action.  She sought and received the sponsorship and support for these clean ups from the Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission. The clean ups were open to the public, received press coverage, and attracted participation from a broad cross section of the community.  In addition to Environmental Commission members and their families participating in one or more of these clean ups, children, parents, and other adults - including elected officials - all pitched in to clean up.

Ms. Diamond also educated her community about the dangers of Whip-Its and nitrous oxide usage, having found a bag containing approximately 30 Whip-Its just a few feet from the roadway during one of her clean ups.  After conducting independent research, Ms. Diamond learned that nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is the most common inhalant of choice among middle school students nationally. In effort to raise local awareness about this issue that community members may not have known existed, she submitted a Letter to the Editor detailing the results of this particular clean up as well as the dangers associated with Whip-Its.

“I appreciated the opportunity to join Valerie and her mom and dad at this great event,” said Mayor Robert Woodruff who attended the Conference, representing Berkeley Heights in support of Ms. Diamond’s accomplishment.  “Another example
of our volunteerism on display. We are all proud of this exceptional young lady!”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

Local at-risk youth celebrate year of achievements at Community Access Unlimited

June 23, 2018

Community Access Unlimited (CAU) last night celebrated the achievements of a number of at-risk youth who are members of the agency's Transitional Opportunities Program (TOP). Each of these youth are within New Jersey's child services system and faced a number of life challenges before coming to CAU and TOP and since then have made significant progress in plotting a brighter future with ...

Union County Residents Can “Recycle Right” without Plastic Bags

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds residents that plastic bags and other excluded items cannot be recycled through their local curbside pick-up programs.

“Union County residents have a good recycling rate compared to other counties in our state, and we want to improve on this record and set a high bar,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “Every ...

Seth Meyers Attends Summit Medical Group Foundation's (SMGF) 5th Annual Gala & Auction

Seth Meyers, host of NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, was recently a special guest at Summit Medical Group Foundation's (SMGF) 5th Annual Gala & Auction where a record-breaking $1.35 million was raised. 

SMGF’s Annual Gala & Auction raises critical funds to ensure the Foundation can continue to offer access to high-quality ...

What Is HIIT and Why All The Buzz?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Many people, especially those with busy schedules, love HITT because they can get maximum benefits in a short period of time! According to Shape Magazine, “Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) than the girl jogging on the treadmill for an hour. And according to ...

Missing in North Plainfield: Have You Seen Angel?

June 21, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Have you seen Angel?

Angel is a seven year old black and white Husky last seen near Westervelt Ave. and Manning Ave. on June 16. Her family says she is very friendly. 

If found, call Andrea at  888-466-3242.


Linden Man Arrested After Explosion in Cranford

June 21, 2018

CRANFORD - On Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 7:06 p.m. the Cranford Police Department received
information that an explosion was heard in the area of Raritan Road and Summit Terrace. Through
a joint investigation with the Union County Prosecutor's Office and Linden Police Department, the
Cranford Police Department Detective Bureau identified a suspect through surveillance video ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, June 23, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back


Sun, June 24, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back


Sun, June 24, 10:00 AM

eMedical Urgent Care, Berkeley Heights

eMedical Urgent Care to Hold Free Teddy Care ...

Arts & Entertainment Health & Wellness


Mon, June 25

Summit YMCA, Summit

June 2018 College Tour



Mon, June 25, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM


Kids' Critter Camp


What's Hot and What's Not

Summer is a great time to take a step back, sip a cool beverage, and take a look at what’s going on in the world of college admissions.  Departments use the summer to evaluate how their year went and plan on any changes they want to make for the fall.  Did they over-enroll? Under-enroll?  What application materials were useful to them?  Which were redundant or time ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...