Jul 28, 2014
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Sustainable Madison Committee Invites Volunteers

Meeting for those interested in learning more scheduled for next week.

Sustainable Madison Committee Invites Volunteers

The Sustainable Madison Advisory Committee is holding a meeting this week for Madisonians who might be interested in getting involved. Here's a news release from the newly formed group:

If you live, work or study in Madison and are interested in saving Madison money with sustainable actions, the Sustainable Madison Advisory Committee invites you to meet Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Committee Room at , to hear about Madison’s recently-created group.

Sustainability involves ”the three P’s”: prosperity or supporting the local economy, planet or managing the environment responsibly and people or embracing social equity.

Building on the success of Madison2020 in achieving bronze certification by Sustainable Jersey two years ago, the committee, formed by ordinance and the Mayor and Council in June, includes borough and school district officials as well as residents.

“Volunteers who bring ideas, energy and knowledge to the effort are critical, because they reach out to the many organizations already engaged in sustainable actions, including our downtown businesses—which is the reason Madison will continue to be such a great place to live,” said Betsy Uhlman, chair of the Sustainable Madison Advisory Committee. “We especially would like to involve students, their parents and our schools. People should feel free to come forward with projects they are passionate about, that support our goals.”

The Sustainable Madison Advisory Committee has identified some projects to start, in areas as varied as the community garden, recycling programs, rain gardens, green business recognition, Complete Streets, and a fleet inventory for the borough’s vehicles. Energy and resource conservation and education are vital, as shown on the Sustainable Jersey website.

“We wish to apply for silver certification in 2013, which will require working together as a community," member Heather Shepard said. "Earning over 120 additional points for new programs will take a focused effort. Chatham and Summit have met the hurdle, and we think we can too.”

Sustainable Madison would like to revisit the Green Forum, a meeting of Madison organizations involved with the environment or open space sponsored by the Shade Tree Management Board a few years ago, to talk as a community about our vision of Madison. The Sustainable Madison committee encourages organizations to review the program suggestions on www.sustainablejersey.com for ideas from other New Jersey communities.

“Madison applied for two levels of grants from Sustainable Jersey this summer to aid the community garden, “ said Stephan Stocker, a member of the Community Garden Committee and the Environmental Commission, who successfully secured matching grants for earlier energy-and cost-saving measures in municipal buildings. “Leveraging our efforts with Sustainable Jersey grants is a tremendous benefit of participating in the program.”

The programs that Madison2020 put in place resulted in cost savings in municipal buildings, an anti-idling program, Green Fairs, and composting programs and acknowledged the work of the Shade Tree Management Board, the Garden Club of Madison, and the DDC with the farmer’s market.

Besides the meeting on Wednesday, Sustainable Madison will have a booth at Bottle Hill Day, Oct. 6, and will keep its website, SustainableMadisonNJ.org, current. Madisonians interested in getting email updates are invited to sign up on the website.

Members include Assistant Borough Administrator Jim Burnet, Kathleen Caccavale, Steven Eget, Sandra Gaurin, Harriet Honigfeld, Councilman Don Links, Superintendent of Public Works David Maines, Heather Shepard, Madison Board of Education Facilities Director Joe Trause, Betsy Uhlman, Borough Engineer Bob Vogel and Ben Wolkowitz.

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