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Mahwah Recognized As 2015 Sustainable Community

 Mayor Bill Laforet, Karin LaGreca and Rich Wolf with Sustainable Jersey Group at Presentation of Certification.
Mayor Bill Laforet, Karin LaGreca and Rich Wolf with Sustainable Jersey Group at Presentation of Certification. Photo Credit: Rich Wolf

MAHWAH, N.J. — Mahwah has been awarded the bronze certification by Sustainable Jersey for its efforts to go green and protect the environment.

Sustainable Jersey is a certification program for New Jersey municipalities that want to go green, save money and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term.

Mahwah is among 57 other municipalities that have all achieved certification in 2015.

"This is again another badge of honor for our community," said Mahwah Mayor Bill Laforet. "I am so proud of the extraordinary work of our Green Team. The award takes years of effort."

The Mahwah Environmental Commission worked to achieve bronze sustainability via a series of initiatives coordinated with various local groups.

Some of those initiatives include:

  • An Energy Audit conducted by Mahwah Library Trustees and employees that highlighted several improvements to save energy costs. The projects were implemented and are expected to save the library several thousand dollars annually.
  • An updated Master Plan that includes a Natural Resource Inventory.
  • A Flooding Risk Assessment that helps the town assess its preparedness for potential flooding risks and could help qualify Mahwah residents for lower insurance rates in future years.
  • The first Mahwah Wellness/Green Fair in March 2015.
  • Mahwah Environmental Volunteer Organization’s (MEVO) creation of a community farm in Campgaw.

"Its great to get the recognition," said Chair of the Mahwah Environmental Commission Rich Wolf, adding that he wants to continue the effort next year.

"The Environmental Commission is not done. We want to strive for additional points to qualify for the highest certification level awarded."

Some of the initiatives the Environmental Commission want to tackle in 2016 include improving the water ordinance to increase conservation, building an extensive bike/walk/hiking trail throughout the town, and doing more local outreach to increase support for the sustainability effort.

"In our minds, becoming certified gives you a leg up and gives you opportunity," Wolf said. We are not yet done."

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