The year 2014 contained its share of milestones for the Rutherford Green Team. This volunteer group whose mission statement is to advise our residents and governing body on sustainable growth and environmental concerns while spearheading exciting new projects and initiatives for Rutherford had several successes while moving forward on many exciting projects. Working together with our police department, planning board and council gave Rutherford the points needed to re-certify the Boro at the Bronze Level in the Sustainable Jersey organization – Congratulations Rutherford!
Here are some highlights from our year and be sure to join us for our first meeting next year Wednesday, January 14, 7PM at Borough Hall, 176 Park Ave, 2nd Floor.
Bike Ring/Complete Streets Program
The Bike and Pedestrian Safety Studies illustrated areas that required the Boro’s attention as well as new opportunities for recreation and transportation. There are now new safety bollards and crosswalks at dangerous intersections and Orient Way was restriped for both safety and new uses.
Our first dedicated bicycle lanes along the length of Orient Way bring with them not only safety, transportation and recreational opportunities but also Responsibility. “If you build them they will come” is a bike lane mantra and they will come – ridership will increase. Now the Green Team and the Boro must work together to educate our bicyclists, young and old, on bike safety and the rules of the road. As the Rutherford Bike Ring grows throughout the Boro, into the Meadowlands and connects to our neighboring towns we must set an example by safeguarding and teaching our riders.
Shortly a New Master Plan will be drawn for the Meadowlands District; it is our hope that Rutherford will become the cycling center of this exciting future.
Rutherford Community Teaching Garden
The Rutherford Community Teaching Garden continues to serve the Borough’s Gardeners as well as the High School Green Club, Scouts and other organization. Working together with the DPW and the Shade Tree Committee, over fifty new shade trees were transplanted from the Shade Tree Nursery to our streets.
On-Going and New Projects
Rutherford Rail Trail
The Norfolk and Southern Railroad ‘abandoned’ the tracks from Montross Ave to the Passaic River many decades ago. After local residents took it upon themselves to clean up the tracks and lay a wood-chip path for the 1.5 mile stretch, the Green Team has been urging the municipalities that the rail line borders to take up the cause of turning the asset into an official public recreational asset. The two towns have currently have begun title searches and discussions with Norfolk and Southern about the possible sale of the land that the rails lie upon.
Volunteers & Community Outreach
Over the last 12 months, we have been attending other Borough committee and civic organizations to create partnership opportunities and identify projects to work on together. The scouting groups, little league teams and school groups all have worked with us. We did a tree planting near Borough Hall in the 50th year celebration of the civil rights commission. We issued green tips to our followers on Facebook and websites. We also meet monthly to work on projects and discuss issues of sustainability.
We cannot exist or do what we do without the support of volunteers, the governing body and all of our municipal departments. Please volunteer and work with us on these great projects – your ideas and visions for our community are vitally important.
Thank you to all and have a happy healthy and sustainable New Year.
The Rutherford Green Team