It’s been a year since BoroGreen began. Since then, the grassroots organization has provided its members with a place to bring their passions, talents and skills to work together for a sustainable future. On Oct. 10, 2010, BoroGreen joined people from all over the world to be part of a movement to reduce carbon emissions from 390 ppm to 350 ppm (www.350.org). Our contribution was to help create the Prall Road rain garden.
The township’s Public Works Department had identified the Prall Road detention basin as a difficult place to mow. Creating a rain garden eliminates mowing costs, provides a habitat for wildlife, and re-introduces native plants that absorb and filter rainwater so effectively. We are adding a birdhouse and flowering perennials on September 11 and invite residents to join us at Prall Road at 11 a.m. Bring gloves and a shovel to help us beautify this detention basin.
We met at Green Drinks at Pheasant’s Landing and Maestro 206. These opportunities bring business to local restaurants while providing a fun environment to talk about issues that concern our members. We will host future Green Drinks so we can meet more folks and help you make your ideas a reality. Visit www.borogreen.org for dates or the events page at www.hillsboroughpatch.com.
We signed up with www.viridian.com/borogreen so that we could have a steady income stream while utilizing electricity sources that are 20% or 100% renewable. Residents are welcome to switch from their current electricity supplier to Viridian through BoroGreen. We can answer questions you may have if you email email@example.com.
Bill Dondiego, one of our board members, ran a Home Energy Workshop in January at the Hillsborough Library that was co-sponsored by Sustainable Hillsborough and Sustainable Montgomery. The workshop helped residents learn about the efficiency of air sealing homes and using renewable energy.
The BoroGreen community garden at Duke Farms is led by Marty Oostveen, who has shared the bounty with the Food Bank (BoroHarvest). Anyone interested in helping her can contact Marty at her website www.martysgarden.us
Several BoroGreen members have been promoting TEACH (Teaching Energy Awareness with Children’s Help) at Woodfern and Hillsborough High School. As a result, staff and BoroGreen members participated in a TEACH workshop last June. Stay tuned for exciting programs this fall!
We partnered with the Hillsborough school district to run a wildly successful contest with 667 families pledging online to stop idling. Clare Liptak, who retired after 27 years as a Somerset County horticultural agent, was instrumental in reaching out to Scout troops and managing the project. Two schools tied for the highest amount of participation of 37% of their school population. Triangle received a bench that was donated by Lowes of Hillsborough and then assembled by members from Boy Scout Troop 489. Woods Road will receive a cherry tree that was donated by Ambleside Garden. Other generous donations were provided by Petrock’s, Rita’s, Applebees and Dunkin’ Donuts. BoroGreen is seeking prize donations for a YouTube video contest to remind students and their families not to idle.
Last month, BoroGreen received a grant from the Dodge Foundation to create a GreenMap for Hillsborough and 3 surrounding towns (Montgomery, Princeton, and Lawrence) . Hillsborough will host the first public mapping session at the public library on Oct. 5 http://www.libraryinsight.net/eventdetails.asp?jx=hup&lmx=222596&v=3. Residents are invited to learn how Green Maps works. Then on Saturday, Oct. 22, a Family Biking Scavenger Hunt will take place along the D&R Canal. Participants will locate the hidden treasures using Green Maps. Information to participate will be at www.borogreen.org
We also pursued a Sustainable Jersey grant for which Nick Chaya, a recent Landscape Architect graduate, created the plans for a Discovery Trail at Longfield detention basin.
BoroGreen will be hosting a Central Jersey Green Teams Best Practices conference at Duke Farms on Saturday, Nov. 5 http://www.sustainablejersey.com/events.php to register. This is co-sponsored by Sustainable Jersey and Sustainable Hillsborough. Energy, Transportation, and Recycling are the 3 main themes of the conference. Keynote speakers are Carolyn Ehrlich, Chief of Staff for Woodbridge Township (2009 Sustainability Champion Award), and Albe Zakes, the VP of Media Relations from Terracycle, to encourage participants with their sustainable efforts. Ridewise of Somerset County will lead a Learning Circle to encourage walking to school. Cooper Electric and a representative of the Board of Public Utilities will speak at the Energy Learning Circles.
BoroGreen members are from many different walks of life and a wide age range. We continue to have new members and welcome many more so that we can build a sustainable community together with you. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join or check for meeting dates at www.borogreen.org.