Thanks to its efforts promoting green and eco-friendly projects and programs, Shrewsbury recently achieved Sustainable Jersey certification, one of 15 communities to join the growing list of towns throughout the state that have received similar recognition since the program was launched in 2009.
In all, 108 municipalities have received either bronze or silver certification - Shrewsbury earned bronze certification - and 359 total communities throughout New Jersey have received or are working towards certification.
In order to earn bronze-level certification, towns must show proof that they've completed a balance of the program sustainable actions, meeting a minimum of at least 150 points, a release from the non-profit organization states. Among the actions that earn communities points are a commitment to environmental stewardship, community gardens, and energy conservation.
Sustainable municipalities are also required to create a Green Team to help ensure the project remains on target.
Shrewsbury earned Sustainable Jersey points in June by passing a resolution aimed at curbing engine idling. With carbon dioxide emissions tied to pollution, greater full consumption and health problems, seen especially in rising asthma rates among children, the no-idling policy was introduced as a simple way to help remedy the problem.
Areas targeted for anti-idling education efforts are shopping centers and Shrewsbury Boro School, among others. Signs have even been erected in some areas by the Green Team reminding drivers "No Idling. Young Lungs at Work.”
More recently, Shrewsbury Council has made a commitment to volunteers looking to establish a community garden on public property, promising approval pending an official plan.