MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Environmental Commission has announced that Cedar Hill Elementary School teacher, Dr. Cathy Lundquist, will be the 2015 Arbor Day Honoree. The prestigious award is bestowed upon individuals who have made a significant and lasting impact on the environmental health of the Montville Township community.
In September 2014, Lundquist, a dedicated kindergarten teacher, celebrated 35 years with Montville Township Public Schools. During her career, the award-winning kindergarten teacher has taught thousands to care for the Earth and its resources. The “Tools for Schools for Kids” environmental initiative she introduced to Cedar Hill Elementary School, empowers elementary students, and encourages the entire student body to conserve. With Lundquist’s guidance, countless young Cedar Hill leaders have met during lunch periods and developed school-wide environmental initiatives designed to address school, community and global environmental concerns. Students are encouraged to take action, develop projects and educate others on environmental needs.
As a result, “Tools for Schools” students have organized and participated in many diverse environmental projects including school-wide recycling, using rain barrels to collect unused water from water bottles for irrigation, and petitioning the New Jersey State Legislature to encourage the implementation and enforcement of Idling Restrictions, particularly with regards to school buses.
Additionally, the “Tools for Schools” students work closely with the Cedar Hill’s “Character Education Committee.” Cedar Hill’s award-winning Character Education program was also introduced by Lundquist. In February that initiative was named a “2015 New Jersey State School of Character” by the New Jersey Alliance for Social, Emotional and Character Development (NJASECD).
Annually Cedar Hill also holds a “Junk Jamboree” where students build games out of recycled materials and the student body attends the carnival-like event to play the 25-cent games. Principal Dr. Michael Raj introduced the “Junk Jamboree” initiative when he came to the Cedar Hill nine years ago. He found that the event was enthusiastically embraced by the Cedar Hill community in part due to the atmosphere of environmental awareness that Lundquist and her colleagues consistently nurture.
Proceeds from the “Junk Jamboree” support environmental activities. Last year’s proceeds were used to adopt an elephant.
In a letter sent to Cedar Hill Elementary School, Vice-Chairperson, Michele Caron, of the Montville Township Environmental Commission, told Lundquist, “Your name was the overwhelming choice for 2015.”
In that letter Caron also said: “For all of your environmental practices and your continued instruction to students about all that is green. For all the students and families whose lives you have touched through recycling and green living. We honor you.”
The Commission requested that Lundquist select a type of tree to be planted in her honor at any location within Montville Township.
On Arbor Day, Friday, April 24, 2015, the Montville Township Environmental Commission will plant a dwarf red Japanese maple in the new Friendship Garden at Cedar Hill Elementary School. The Friendship Garden was prepared by Cedar Hill’s “Tools for Schools for Kids’” after school environmental program. The Arbor Day ceremony in Lundquist’s honor will be held at 10 a.m.