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2012 Event Supporters





award photo

2012 Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2012 Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards and the 2011 Clean Water New Jersey award! The awards ceremony and reception was held on Monday evening, January 28, at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton. Descriptions and photos for each of our winners are below.

This award is presented to a nominee demonstrating a commitment to and experience in one or more of the following areas and activities:

  • Reducing air pollution emissions and/or reducing outdoor exposure to toxic air contaminants;
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions or equivalents through energy efficiency projects or green power purchases;
  • Reducing outdoor exposure to toxic air contaminants, and
  • Reducing air deposition loading to land and water.
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin (on left) and Thomas Nyquist, Executive Director, Engineering and Campus Energy
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin (on left) and Thomas Nyquist, Executive Director, Engineering and Campus Energy

Winner: Princeton University

Princeton University continues to demonstrate commitment to sustainability, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the promotion of energy conservation. The university is recognized for a number of initiatives, including decisions to install heat recovery technology in its cogeneration plant and a 5.3-megawatt solar collector field on 27 acres in West Windsor Township. In addition, the university has completed a six-month audit that evaluated 263 energy projects, of which 170 are slated to move forward; continued the use of aggressive campus design standards for new construction projects; and reduced the number of cars used to commute to campus.

This award is presented to a nominee that demonstrates a positive influence in one or more of the following areas and activities:

  • Improving surface or ground water quality;
  • Ensuring sufficient quantities of water through reuse and conservation techniques; and
  • Promotion or development of progressive land use policies and watershed management approaches to improve protection of surface and groundwater sources.
Kate Burke Walsh, Head of School and David Donovan, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Winner: Willow School

The independent Willow School in Gladstone is a recognized leader among green and sustainable schools, particularly in regards to water management. The school constructed a wetland wastewater management system more than a decade ago. Today, rainwater from the roof is used to flush toilets, and plants are being grown hydroponically in reclaimed septic water. The septic water from the toilets is treated for use in the plant bed before it is returned to the ground. The school planted native, drought-resistant plants in and around the constructed wetlands and reduced the use of impervious surfaces, underground piping and curbing by using vegetated bio-swales, rain gardens and habitat improvements. In addition, the school employs the use of low- flow fixtures and flushers, and waterless urinals.

This award is presented to a nominee that demonstrates a commitment to, and experience in, programs or techniques that have resulted in the restoration, protection and enhancement of the State's ecological resources. These resources include wetlands, estuaries and coastal areas, as well as non-game and/or threatened and endangered species.
Dr. Sara Webb, Professor of Biology and Director of Environmental Studies

Winner: Drew University

Drew University transformed its campus and adjacent forest preserve in Madison to restore lost ecosystem services, wildlife habitat, and biodiversity. Most significant is the ecological restoration of 18 acres of the Drew Forest Preserve, which includes Zuck Arboretum and Hepburn Woods. This restoration program had three components: control of non-native invasive vegetation, erection of a 10-foot-high deer fence to protect 18 forested acres, and the return of missing plant species, most notably through the planting of 2,000 native trees and shrubs. A meadow restoration and rain garden were also initiated in 2012. Drew continues to host student-driven efforts to convert lawns to native plantings.

This award is presented to a nominee that demonstrates a commitment to, and experience in, the preservation of open space that protects land from future development.
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin (on left) and Mayor Richard Gerbounka, City of Linden
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin (on left) and Mayor Richard Gerbounka, City of Linden

Winner: City of Linden

Linden is recognized for its ongoing development of the Hawk Rise Sanctuary, a 95-acre preserve that reconnects residents to the Rahway River and the Arthur Kill. Over time, waterfront areas were filled, turned into landfills or cut off from the public because of industrial uses. The Hawk Rise Sanctuary is a blueprint for turning a former landfill into open space and habitat while providing multiple public uses. Linden and its partners invested over $13.5 million dollars to close and cap their landfill and help restore the Rahway River watershed. Of the 95 preserved acres, 55 acres are grassland converted from the former Linden Landfill. The remainder is salt marsh and wooded wetlands. The sanctuary’s new network of trails, viewing stations, interpretive signs and educational programs connects people with natural areas and wildlife.

This award is presented to a nominee that demonstrates a commitment to, and experience in, any of the following activities:
  • An activity that addresses pollution/waste reduction, recycling, land use, local purchasing, sustainability, resource conservation or product stewardship;
  • Innovative practices or technologies that have resulted in the private or public sector clean up and redevelopment of contaminated/brownfields sites; and
  • Any activity that reduces or eliminates pollution/waste at the source or treats the materials in an environmentally safe manner prior to recycling or disposal.
  • Creation of community-based initiatives that foster involvement, action and effective solutions to the adverse effects of industrial pollution in overburdened and low-income communities.
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin and Meishka Mitchell, Vice President of Neighborhood Initiatives, Cooper's Ferry Partnership

NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin and Meishka Mitchell, Vice President of Neighborhood Initiatives, Cooper's Ferry Partnership

Winner: Camden SMART Initiative

The Camden Stormwater Management and Resource Training (SMART) initiative was started in 2011 to help address Camden’s issues with stormwater management and aging sewerage infrastructure. A key player in the effort is the Coopers Ferry Partnership. The goal of the initiative is to restore and revitalize Camden’s neighborhoods through the development of a network of programs and projects that address the city’s stormwater management issues. During the past year, the partners addressed flooding and water quality and quantity issues by constructing 19 rain gardens in Camden neighborhoods, hosting several rain garden training sessions, planting hundreds of trees, launching a water conservation program for residents, distributing educational pamphlets to residents, launching a rainwater harvesting initiative that includes demonstrations and rain barrels for residents, and hosting stakeholder meetings.

This award is presented to the educator, student, group of students or class that has planned and implemented a project/program with measurable positive environmental impacts.
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin with Rachel Roesch and Patty Miraglilo, 7th grade students
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin with Rachel Roesch and Patty Miraglilo, 7th grade students

Winner: Alder Avenue Middle School

The Alder Avenue Middle School in Egg Harbor Township demonstrates a strong commitment to healthy, energy-efficient and sustainable school practices that are also part of their curriculum. In 2011, the school district embarked on an energy conservation campaign to reduce energy costs and built an energy conservation program that reduces consumption of electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, and water through changes in organizational and human behavior. As a result, the Egg Harbor Township School District achieved a 29 percent cost savings totaling more than $1 million. The school has integrated studies of the Great Egg Harbor River into its curriculum, established a reforestation replenishment program and implemented a school recycling program. In addition, the school built outdoor classrooms, gardens, and a community teaching garden. The campus also has a small tree farm, organic garden, rain barrels, a pond, and birdhouses built by students.

This award is presented to an individual who has shown leadership in the promotion of environmental protection in his or her profession.
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin and Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, Monmouth University (Accepting award on behalf of President Gaffney)
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin and Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, Monmouth University (Accepting award on behalf of President Gaffney)

Winner: Paul G. Gaffney II

Paul G. Gaffney II became President of Monmouth University in 2003. Under his leadership, Monmouth became the first independent university in New Jersey to sign a voluntary agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to build a healthy and sustainable campus community. As part of this agreement, the University is aligning its campus planning efforts with the State Development and Redevelopment Plan and Monmouth County’s Growth Management Guide. The university recently installed solar panels on seven buildings and roofs on six buildings were coated with a specialized material to reduce energy costs. The university has a student-sponsored campus rain garden and installed Greenopolis Miser machines, kiosks that reward those who recycle with redeemable points. Monmouth has expanded its recycling program and participates in RecycleMania, a national recycling competition. During President Gaffney’s tenure, the University was featured in the 2012 Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges.

This award is presented to a nominee that demonstrates the use or deployment of a new or alternative method, procedure, process, system or facility, which results in greater environmental protection than other technologies in current practice or comparable results at lower costs in terms of energy, natural resources or environmental impacts.
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin (on left) and Michael Knab, Senior Vice President of Development
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin (on left) and Michael Knab, Senior Vice President of Development

Winner: RPM Development Group

RPM Development Group is a recognized developer of affordable housing. The firm‘s Grand Central development in Orange is the first multi-family Climate Choice building in the state and is a pioneering effort designed to approach net zero energy use. Grand Central provides 70 units of affordable housing that utilize several energy efficient technologies, such as a solar photovoltaic system for power, a solar collector system for pre-heating water, exterior and roof insulation, and heat recovery ventilators. As a result, residents at Grand Central have the lowest energy usage of any RPM property. In addition, the landscaping at Grand Central emphasizes drought-resistant plantings and other design features that help decrease water use, along with low-flow fixtures in the units and common areas.

This award is presented to a nominee that demonstrates a commitment to, and experience in, any of the following activities:
  • An activity that addresses pollution/waste reduction, recycling, land use, local purchasing, sustainability, resource conservation or product stewardship;
  • Innovative practices or technologies that have resulted in the private or public sector clean up and redevelopment of contaminated/brownfields sites; and
  • Creation of community-based initiatives that foster involvement, action and effective solutions to the adverse effects of industrial pollution in overburdened and low-income communities.
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin (on left) and Dave Kitts, Vice President of Environment
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin (on left) and Dave Kitts, Vice President of Environment

Winner: Mannington Mills

Mannington Mills, a flooring manufacturer in Salem, is a recognized leader of sustainable practices. Most recently, Mannington Mills installed 3.3 acres of solar panels on seven rooftops at their Salem facility and improved freight operations to reduce emissions by joining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Partnership. In addition, the company reduced water use by converting nearly 30 acres of lawn and agricultural lands to native grasslands and shrub lands. The company has also designed several product lines to be readily recyclable or use raw materials that would have been deposited into landfills. These materials include reclaimed drywall, post-use flooring, recycled magazines, and yarn. The company recycled more than 5,000 tons of materials in 2011 and reduced waste sent to landfills by 12 percent.

This award is presented to an individual who volunteers time with an environmental, academic or community-based organization in the state.
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin (on left) and Leonard Berkowitz, Co-Chairman of the Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin (on left) and Leonard Berkowitz, Co-Chairman of the Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission

Winner: Leonard Berkowitz

Leonard Berkowitz is a retired chemical engineer who has served as chairman and co-chairman of the Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission for 12 years. Under his leadership, the environmental commission conducted energy audits of municipal buildings and worked with the township administration to install energy-efficient lighting. The environmental commission also established benchmarks for developing a municipal carbon footprint and installed signs to discourage idling in identified problem areas. The commission has also inventoried land conservation easements and sent letters to homeowners to remind them of their obligations to preserve easements, developed a policy list for energy-saving behaviors for the township's policy manual, created a vision statement and long-term plan for environmental protection, and performed a study that quantified the economic benefit of tree canopy to the township.

The Clean Water New Jersey awards were presented for exemplary activities conducted by New Jersey stormwater permit holders. Recognition was given to award applicants that conducted activities "above and beyond" their permit requirements or enhanced their stormwater program in a new or unique way.

For several years the Clean Water New Jersey awards program was administered by the Department's Bureau of Nonpoint Source Pollution before it was folded into the Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards. This presentation of the last Clean Water New Jersey award honors the exemplary work that was performed by this recipient in 2010 - 2011.
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin (on left), Nicholas Marchese, Superintendent of Roadway and the Atlantic City Expressway, and Michele Siekerka, NJDEP Assistant Commissioner of Water Resources Management
NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin (on left), Nicholas Marchese, Superintendent of Roadway and the Atlantic City Expressway, and Michele Siekerka, NJDEP Assistant Commissioner of Water Resources Management

Winner: South Jersey Transportation Authority

The South Jersey Transportation Authority operates the Atlantic City Expressway and Brigantine Connector, which includes over 182 lane miles. The authority completed an extensive project to map and inspect some 3,100 stormwater structures. The project determined GPS locations for each structure, and incorporated the use of a new computer program to track their maintenance. The authority also purchased new equipment for cleaning these structures. In addition, the authority planted more than 30 acres of wildflowers at various locations and conducted several stormwater outreach programs for local schools and the public.

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Note: The preceding project and winner descriptions are based on information provided by the applicants and/or third party nominators.

  

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