Cherry Hill Township has been awarded a $173,431.88 Clean Communities Grant from the State of New Jersey, Mayor Cahn announced this week.
The grant is among $23.7 million in Clean Communities grants awarded by the state this year, and will help fund the continuation of the Township’s Clean Communities Grant program, which began last year as a way to incentivize cleanup activities among local community groups and civic associations.
Cherry Hill has been awarded the 11th-largest grant in the state, and the highest award amount in South Jersey.
“The residents of Cherry Hill take a tremendous amount of pride in preserving and protecting the character and integrity of our neighborhoods and public spaces,” Mayor Chuck Cahn said. “Engaging residents and organizations to help keep our neighborhoods clean is just one way to maintain a high quality of life and build pride in Cherry Hill. This year’s Clean Communities grant will go a long way in supporting those efforts.”
As established by law, the nonprofit New Jersey Clean Communities Council oversees the reporting requirements for the program. Grants are funded by a legislated user-fee on manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors that produce litter-generating products. Disbursements to municipalities are based on the number of housing units and miles of municipally owned roadways within each municipality.
In 2015, the Township launched a small-grant program that makes up to $500 available to local community groups who coordinate cleanup and beautification projects on public lands. In the year since, local civic associations, Boy Scout Troops and even local schools have taken advantage of the program.
Those interested in the program can contact the Department of Parks and Recreation at (856) 488-7868, or e-mail Recreation@chtownship.com to request a copy of the grant application.
“Simple initiatives such as litter control go a long way to making our communities healthier, stronger, and more sustainable,” said Mark Pedersen, Assistant Commissioner for Site Remediation and Waste Management. “This year’s increase in Clean Communities grants will allow New Jersey to continue fostering environmental stewardship at the local level as means to a more sustainable future."
Litter comes from pedestrians, motorists, overflowing household garbage, construction sites and uncovered trucks, and is often blown by the wind until it is trapped somewhere, as along a fence or in a ditch or gully. People tend to litter when an area is already littered, and when they do not feel a sense of ownership or community pride. In addition to being unsightly, litter unhealthy may create a negative public image.
Activities funded by Clean Communities grants include cleanups of stormwater systems that can disperse trash into streams, rivers and bays; volunteer cleanups of public properties; adoption and enforcement of local anti-littering ordinances; beach cleanups; public information and education programs; and purchases of litter collection equipment such as receptacles, recycling bins, anti-litter signs and graffiti removal supplies.
For a complete list of municipal and county grant awards, visit www.njclean.org