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For the first time since the Sustainable Jersey certification program began in 2009, Pompton Lakes will be acknowledged as a sustainable community by Sustainable Jersey, a statewide nonprofit organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs. Pompton Lakes first registered in 2010.
As the liaison to the Pompton Lakes Open Space Committee and Green Team, Councilman Erik DeLine knew the community was already undertaking sustainable actions, but the obstacle was doing the proper documentation to get credit for it.
"Many of our great volunteer committees and Borough employees already do the hard work and kinds of things to make Pompton Lakes a more sustainable and environmentally-responsible place to live," said Councilman DeLine, "But we needed to complete some additional steps to get us to certification, and help in collecting the necessary documentation to submit to the program."
In 2017, the Borough applied for and received a $2,000 Sustainable Jersey Capacity Building Grant, which enabled it to hire a part-time Sustainable Jersey coordination, Erik Blake.
Said Erik, "Without the grant and Erin's hard work, we'd probably be in the same place as when we began."
Working together, Erin and Erik identified which Actions were already being done, and started reaching out to the different groups and committees for information. Once that information was collected, Erin provided write-ups for each Action. they also prioritized actions the Borough could undertake during this year's grant period to gain additional points before the June 2018 submission deadline. Following that initial deadline, there was a round of review and additional revisions and information that needed to be provided.
When it was all done, the Borough gained 200 Action points with 150 required for certification for Bronze status. 350 points are required for Silver status, which Erik says he looks forward to getting in the next year or two.
The Borough of Pompton Lakes will be recognized for its achievement at the Annual Sustainable Jersey Luncheon during the New Jersey League of Municipalities Conference this November.
To find out more about Sustainable Jersey, visit their website. To find out what additional actions Pompton Lakes is looking at, or to get involved with Sustainable Jersey, contact Councilman DeLine at firstname.lastname@example.org.