Sustainable Cherry Hill (SCH) is an all volunteer 501c3 non-profit community outreach and educational organization that fosters the global sustainability movement at a local level.Â Creating resources that facilitate this shift in lifestyle, while connecting people in the community for and around our mission, lays a foundation for making the necessary change to a sustainable way of life- one less geared to environmentally damaging and socially inequitable consumption patterns, and one that works in harmony with the planet, its resources and their limits.
“Bringing people together to build a sustainable South Jersey.”
SCH strives to continuously tap Cherry Hill and the surrounding region’s greatest resource- its people- in order to shift to a sustainable way of life. We do this through hosting educational events, networking opportunities, supporting community based task forces and acting as a general clearing house of information on sustainability news and events. We provide a structure for people at all levels to work together to pursue their passions and use their unique skills and networks in the service of a more sustainable community.
SCH is essentially a community group in that our approach to sustainability recognizes that everyone making small changes results in big differences collectively. As such, it is critical that we establish and nurture relationships with all area stakeholders, including government, schools, businesses, faith groups, other community groups and individuals from all over South Jersey. But grassroots cannot do it alone. Â Large scale change requires leadership by governments and corporations. Â An educated and empowered populace can put pressure on these entities from the ground up.
Taste, Learn and Take Action at Food Day 2015
Saturday, October 24, 2015
11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Cherry Hill High School EAST
Kresson Road, Cherry Hill, NJ
Get to know local, healthy, sustainable foods from across the region
Enjoy delicious samplings and explore vegetarian and gluten free options
Family fun and kids Passport to Health
The most important ingredient in Food Day is you!
Hosted by Sustainable Cherry Hillâ€™s Green Health Task Force
and in partnership with
October 7th, 6 â€“ 8 pm
The Farm & Fisherman Tavern & Market
1422 Marlton Pike East, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Come hear all about our upcoming Food Day event!
Grab a friend and join us at our monthlyÂ free networking social,
(buy your own drink) enjoy delicious food, and
Â get to meet other like-minded folks committed to sustainability.
These days, we could all use a little inspiration. Welcome to the next in ourÂ SCHÂ Agent for ChangeÂ series. Every month we will feature an interview with everyday people creating big changes in their little corner of the world. The goal of these stories is to spark a passion, help you set a goal, or move past some frustration as you work to be anÂ Agent for ChangeÂ in your own system.
This month we feature Jeff Quattrone, a Salem County resident and founder of Library Seed Bank. JeffÂ isÂ committed to saving plants and seed lines threatened by companies developing altered seeds. A Library Seed Bank lends and collectsÂ seeds, especially local, rare, and heirloom seed varieties. Individuals â€ścheck outâ€ť small seed packages from a library collection, grow the plants and then harvest seeds from the propagated plants. These new seeds are then contributed back to the library for lending. Library Seed BankÂ collects and distributes non-genetically modified seeds.
SCH: What is a typical day as an â€śAgent for Change” like for you?
Jeff: A typical day involves checking my Twitter feed, planning and implementing something with the next step for my Library Seed Bank project, and watching the dynamics of the seed business. Some days there are giant leaps forward, some days an evaluation of what’s working and what’s not, and other days, a simple email to keep the process flowing. Being an agent for change is like being an artist. With anything creative, you should do something creative everyday to keep the process going, same thing with being an agent for change.
SCH: How did you get involved with Library Seed Bank?
Jeff: I started a blog where I wrote one story a day about someone or some organization that was doing something to change the world in a positive direction. I found myself coming back to environmental stories, and came across Slow Food USA’s Arc of Taste, a living catalog of threatened local food. About that time, the opportunity to start gardening again presented itself, so I started another blog about vanishing varieties of vegetables. I got a press pass to Slow Food International’s 2012 Salone de Gusto Terra Madre food conference in Turin, Italy, and that cemented my commitment to do more. Shortly after that, I saw seed libraries were coming into the mix, and I jumped on the opportunity to bring them to this area of southern New Jersey.
SCH: What are some of the biggest challenges or barriers that you’ve faced? How have you dealt with them?
Jeff: Anytime something new comes into fruition, you face a degree of resistance. Change is a big challenge for a lot of people. When you start to talk to them about sustainability, and in my case, a stranger talking about seeds and food, reaching people on the level they are comfortable with, is a challenge. Everyone has their own way of communicating, so I find being an intensive listener is the key.
Also, building something from the ground up with no local structure in place as a model is a very big challenge. Overall, I live my life like a story I write everyday. Challenges are plot twists, and I look at them as content in this story I’m writing. Sometimes they are dead ends, which is fine because they stop wasting time. Other times, they bring more depth to what I do. I like those times a whole lot better.
SCH: Dream Big! If you had no constraints, what would you like to see happen in five years?
Jeff: A regional heirloom seed bank with locally grown seeds that have genes which are adaptive to the local growing conditions. It would be stocked with locally bred varieties of vegetables, and there would be an Edible Seed Bank Garden.
SCH: It’s important an Agent for Change stay inspired too. Tell us about an experience you’ve had recently that really energized or moved you.
Jeff: I just started to tweet earnestly in April of this year. I was approached by an interesting and innovative British charity that focuses on environmental and sustainable fashion issues. They asked me if I’d bring a food waste festival to New Jersey known as the #pumpkinchallenge. Well, you challenge Jersey, and we rise up and take it. It’s our spirit and pride.
The #pumpkinchallenge is about looking at pumpkins as more than a Halloween decoration. In England, Halloween has grown exponentially over the last decade, and so has the tonnage of pumpkins that get wasted. Hubbub, the charity, staged a #pumpkinchallenge in 2014 in Oxford, England. It was quite successful, and they expanded it in 2015 to 15 locations in the UK, including London and Belfast. Our version, the Don’t Waste the Harvest Festival & Barn Dance will take place at Triple Oaks Nursery in Franklinville, NJ on October 17, 2015. The Jersey Corn Pickers, a blue grass/Americana band will close out the festival with a barn dance in the evening. We are one of two locations in America putting on a #pumpkinchallenge.
If at any point of my life before April you would’ve had said, â€śJeff, you’re going to be asked to address the food waste issue with a cool and innovative British organization, and have a barn dance to cap it all off,â€ť I’d tell you, you were crazy. It’s an honor, it’s humbling and it’s amazing to me that this came my way.
SCH: How have you connected with SCH in your Agent for Change role? What ideas do you have about how we might work together in the future?
Jeff: It’s a new and exciting connection for me. I live in Salem County, and I see potential to bridge the counties, including Gloucester County in some way. There are a lot of great people involved with SCH and I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with them.
To learn more, visit:Â Â www.libraryseedbank.info
Faces of Nature Photography Walk
Saturday, October 24, 2015
9am – 11pm
Croft Farm Art Barn
100 Bortons Mill Rd, Cherry Hill, NJ
What does the face of nature look like to you?Â Explore the trails at Croft Farm andÂ learn a little bit aboutÂ our natural environment. Capture what you see as the faces of nature on camera. For camera phone junkies and experienced photographers.Â
By Barbara Wilson, Public Information Officer, Cherry Hill Public Schools
Congratulations to Cherry Hill High School West for earning a $4,000 grant from Sustainable Jersey for Schools, funded by the NJ Department of Health. The grant will fund theÂ construction of a raised-bed garden and rainwater harvestingÂ system. The garden will be used primarily to teach special educationÂ students gardening, food prep and other life skills, and to promoteÂ fitness, healthy living and healthy food choices.
The garden will be close to Westâ€™s special educationÂ classrooms to accommodateÂ students with physical limitations. Plans include to incorporatingÂ growing flowers as well vegetables in the garden to be used for career exploration. Read the rest of this post »