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THE CHATHAMS EARN AWARDS FOR SUSTAINABILITY Contributed by Kara Sibilia, Chatham Community Partnership


hese days, you hear the word “sustainable” a lot - but what does it really mean? Consume less? Recycle more? Be more “green”? The term essentially implies “lasting” or “maintainable.” So, what makes a community genuinely sustainable? The path is different for every town, however taking measurable steps toward waste reduction, lowering greenhouse gas emissions and improving future environmental equity are common threads. In November 2018, Sustainable Jersey (SJ), a nonprofit Chatham Borough, Chatham Township and Madison celebrated Tri-Town 55+ organization supporting regions Coalition’s first anniversary and Rides for Seniors program. that adopt planet-friendly practices, presented The Chathams with awards for sustainability - proving Kate Murphy, Chairwoman, Chatham Borough Environmental that this neighborhood is bringing tangible solutions to local, Commission/Green Team. environmental challenges with passion and commitment. Sustainability Champion Sustainable Community Certification Chatham Borough garnered accolades for taking actions outside Approximately 448 municipalities in New Jersey (79%) participate of the traditional scope, earning a 2018 Sustainability Champion in the “Sustainable Community” certification program. Every Award, thus becoming one of the highest-ranking medium-sized three years, towns earn points for actions including: protecting towns in New Jersey. Innovative projects, completed by Borough natural resources, reducing waste and sustaining local committees and volunteers, include: economies. The Chathams have been certified in this program 1. Historic Riverside Trail: A “Roots to River” grant received in for many years, and in 2018, Chatham Borough re-certified at 2017 to plant 1,000 native saplings along the Passaic river edge. the Silver level - one of only 11 municipalities in the state - with a 2. Kelley’s Pond Invertebrate Conservation/Bee Garden: whopping 620 points, while Chatham Township re-certified at the Another grant awarded in 2017, to plant 750 pollinators by Bronze level with 200 points. “I would like to thank Sustainable Kelley’s Pond - the area behind Milton Avenue School - as well Jersey for establishing this program and giving people the as shore the pond edges and control mosquitos by introducing opportunity to do something positive for the environment,” says carp to the ecosystem. 3. “Drive” Electric Vehicle Event: Electric vehicles were displayed at the Sustainability Fair in September 2018. Chatham Borough has achieved “Champion” status three times since the awards began in 2009. “I am very proud to be Mayor of a community that is deeply committed to sustainable practices. It’s a tradition that goes back decades, to our first voluntary recycling program, and has continued to this day,” states Chatham Borough Mayor, Bruce A. Harris. “I sincerely hope that our efforts are passed down to future generations so that, wherever they may be, our young people can be ambassadors of sustainable living.” Collaboration Award

Chatham Bee Garden hives being attended to by Bee Garden Club members 12 | Chatham Living

Chatham Borough, Chatham Township and Madison Borough were recognized with a 2018 Collaboration Award for their role(s) in the Tri-town 55+ Coalition, a

Profile for Chatham Living - BVM

Chatham Living Magazine - January, 2019