CALDWELL, NJ — Borough of Caldwell Councilwoman Christine Schmidt was recently awarded a $20,000 Sustainable Jersey grant funded by the PSEG Foundation after Caldwell Environmental Commission (CEC) co-chair Ann Marchioni applied in hopes of working with the Rutgers Water Resources Program under the direction of Dr. Chris Obrupta.
"They would provide Caldwell with technical assistance to deal with storm water management and green infrastructure," said Marchioni. "Also included is an Impervious Cover Assessment for Caldwell. This will help Caldwell deal with the more severe storm issues as a result of climate change."
Schmidt said that she was fortunate enough to represent the Borough of Caldwell in accepting this grant.
"I really can't take credit for this one," she said. "It's the result of the hard work of Ann Marchioni and our Environmental Commission."
Caldwell was among four municipalities to receive $20,000 grants from Sustainable Jersey, which distributed grants in 15 New Jersey counties. Seven municipalities received $10,000 grants and 25 towns received $2,000 grants.
The grant awards will fund a range of projects, including green infrastructure, park restoration, single-use plastic reduction campaigns, raingardens, environmental resource inventories, creative placemaking, green team capacity building and more.
“From climate change, to water, waste and equity issues, so many of the big sustainability concerns are reaching a crisis point,” said Randall Solomon, executive director for Sustainable Jersey. "This investment in sustainability projects will have lasting benefits to New Jersey."
According to Sustainable Jersey, a non-profit that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs, 80 percent of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities are currently participating in its municipal certification program.
Solomon extended his congratulations to all of the towns that received grants.
“We're seeing exciting results from previous grant projects, and we are looking forward to similarly productive, innovative progress from the current group of awardees,” he said.
The PSEG Foundation has contributed 1.9 million dollars in funding to the Sustainable Jersey grants program for municipalities and schools.
“Supporting local municipalities in their efforts to build sustainability programs puts resources where they’re needed and aren’t always available, and PSEG is proud to do so” said Barb Short, president of the PSEG Foundation. “Sustainable Jersey helps bring real change and has a lasting impact to neighborhoods throughout New Jersey.”
Proposals were evaluated by an independent Blue-Ribbon Selection Committee. The Sustainable Jersey grants are intended to help municipalities make progress toward a sustainable future in general, and specifically toward Sustainable Jersey certification.