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- Assisted Cherry Hill Township with the development of its”10 Point Green Action Plan“, which was passed unanimously by Town Council in March 2008. The formation of Â Sustainable Cherry Hill was one of the ten “points” as the community education/outreach arm of the plan. Â The township was awarded theÂ GovernorsÂ Environmental Excellence Award in December 2008 with special mention given to the collaborative relationship between municipal government and SCH.
- Held the firstÂ community-wide SCH meeting to introduce our group to the public and educate the community about sustainability. Â Over 100 people attended in July 2008.
- Sustainable Cherry Hill became an official 501c3 non-profit organization in August 2008 and held our first board meetings in Fall 2008.
- Assisted with the development and passage ofÂ No Idling resolution with CHÂ Town Council and CHÂ Board of Education in 2009/9.
- Co-sponsoredÂ National Public Lands Day with CH Environmental Advisory Committee (CHEAC), which brought out dozens of community members to do tree/trail maintenance on public land in 2008.
- Hosted first everÂ “green” section at CH Fall Festival in 2008, followed by complete “Earth Day” festivals inÂ 2009 andÂ 2010. Â An estimated 5-6000 people have attended these events.
- Since 2008, about a dozen community members/teachers have attendedÂ NJ LEARNS, a year-long sustainability education program, hosted by The Cloud Institute and funded by The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Â This program “trains the trainer” so that participants learn skills to talk to their community about sustainability.
- Participated in aÂ press conference with Senator Frank Lautenberg, Congressman John Adler and Mayor Platt to announce exciting funding for the township’s solar panel project in 2009. Â All three elected official credited SCH for our role in this project. Â We recently participated in a ceremonial installation of the solar panels on CH Department of Public Works in Fall 2010.
- Became integral part of CH Township’s “Green Team” by council resolution in 2009 and participated in successful effort to become one of only 30 towns certified forÂ Sustainable Jersey‘s statewide program. Â The team is currently working towards 2011 “silver” certification, as well as serving as a hub for all of the township’s sustainability initiatives. Cherry Hill Township was one of only 8 municipalities in NJ to achieve Sustainable Jersey Silver Level Certification (November 2011). UPDATE-Cherry Hill Township was one of only 8 municipalities in NJ to achieve Sustainable Jersey Silver Level Certification (November 2011).
- Established the first-ever South Jersey areaÂ Green Drinks, a monthly, casual social/professional networking opportunity for like-minded people to talk “green.”Â Since its inception in 2008, approximately 25-50 people Â have attended each month from throughout the South Jersey region.
- Hosted a community visioning conference in Summer 2009,Â “Cherry Hill 2020: Shaping a Sustainable Future” with almost 100 diverse community stakeholders participating in three days of hard work to come up with an agenda for sustainability and resulting task forces for action.
- Became the first town in the state to qualify forÂ NJ Clean Energy Program‘s “Home Performance with Energy Star” referral/incentive program, followed by similar success with “Green NJ Resource Team”, “Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling” and “Energy Star Products” programs. Â This 2010 effort was spearheaded by the SCH Green Build task force.
- Hosted numerous educational programs (most free), reaching an estimated 2000 people since 2008 includingÂ Trash Talk; a trip to theÂ Collingswood Book Festival for Elizabeth Royte’s Bottlemania; aÂ screening of The 11th Hour; Â aÂ program on consumption using The Story of Stuff; Â aÂ program on celebrating the holidays more sustainably; aÂ screening of Renewal, a faith based film, aÂ program on the politics and the environment; aÂ screening of FRESH: New thinking about what we’re eating; aÂ screening of The Poet of Poverty, a film about environmental/social injustice in Camden with a follow up discussion and work days in Waterfront South; aÂ program about green building using residential/commercial case studies; an organic gardening/lawncare Â program with WHYY’s You Bet Your Garden host, Mike McGrath, including small group session with local schools/churches; a “Make your own Rain Barrel”Â Workshop; aÂ program about the home energy audit with an opportunity to interact with contractors;Â aÂ program with Dr. David Robinson, NJ State Climatologist- Climate Change & NJ;Â the Soul of Sustainability- aÂ program about living healthy, beautiful and green; Â America Recycles Day with screening of TRASHED, “Got Solar? Your neighbor does”, a program using residential/commercial case studies with an opportunity to interact with solar providers, “How to Pack a Healthy, Waste-Free Lunch” with Whole Foods, Â ”Two Angry Moms”, a film and discussion about improving school lunches, a full day Â “Organic Vegetable Production” class, “Label Detectives” label reading workshop, an Energy Choice program and more.
- Have reached over 2000 people throughout the region and state with talks about sustainability to groups of all sizes (classrooms and Brownie troops to Rotary Clubs and statewide conferences).
- Became an integral part of project team for EPA Climate Showcase Community Greenhouse Gas Reduction grant ($500k shared with partners in Montclair and Highland Park, NJ), now called “It’s in our Power” energy reduction initiative.
- Hosted aÂ retreat in Fall 2010 to celebrate our successes, support us in our challenges and plan for the next year. Â Almost 60 people attended including many new faces.
- Hosted the first Tri-County Sustainable Communities Forum (March 2011) at Camden County College with partner, Sustainable Jersey, with almost 200 in attendance from 35 towns and 6 counties to share challenges and solutions with one another. This was followed up with another program in Mt. Laurel (October 2011)and more regional events are being planned by South Jersey Green Network, the organizing group of this regional effort.
- Co-hosted the first “Celebrate the Planet at the Cherry Hill Mall” with Cherry Hill Township.
- SCH has been honored for our work by: The Camden County Board of Freeholders, The American Institute of Architects (AIA- West Jersey), the US Green Building Council (USGBC) of NJ and The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA- Region 2).
- SCH has had many articles written about us and our happenings by the local media.
- We also host several community building/fundraising events throughout the year, including Green Earth Evening, Tapas and NJ Wine/Beer Tasting and Ocktoberfest. We like to have fun!
- Mayor Platt honored Sustainable Cherry Hill with a proclamation and Town Council passed a resolution updating the 2008 Green Action Plan with new goals to celebrate the plan’s 3 year anniversary Â (March 2011).
- The Green Building/Business task force hosted two business breakfasts at Caffe Aldo Lamberti (May & November 2012) focusing on ways businesses can take steps to become more sustainable. The May breakfast focused on the ABC’s of business sustainability; the November breakfast zeroed in on no cost, low cost and high impact ways to cut energy. Mayor Chuck Cahn spoke at both breakfasts highlighting Cherry Hill’s sustainability efforts. Our partners included the township, Cherry Hill Regional Chamber of Commerce and in November the Camden County Office of Sustainability.