Green Team Created to Make Sparta Sustainable
Nine-member team will find ways to make township more eco-friendly.
The Sparta Township Council took a step in its goal to gain a silver certificate under the Sustainable Jersey program that promotes environmentally friendly government practices.
The council by resolution created a Green Team which is tasked with guiding the township’s efforts.
Sustainable Jersey lists over 117 actions a municipality can take to show a commitment to environmental stewardship, including community gardens, supporting local businesses, conservation of energy and water and waste reduction and recycling, according to the group's website.
Each town in the program must create a Green Team. For a silver certificate, Sparta must complete three of the seven priority actions: An energy audit for municipal buildings, a municipal carbon footprint, a sustainable land use pledge, a natural resource inventory, a water conservation ordinance, a fleet inventory, and/or Energy Star Portfolio Manager.
“We gained 10 points by creating a Green Team,” said Deputy Mayor Molly Ann Whilesmith.
Sparta’s Green Team includes Whilesmith as council liaison; residents Mitch Morrison, Rob Nicholson and Kevin Lynotte; Joseph Caravella of TransOptions; Sparta High School student Matty Putnam; Sparta Township employees Janice Stevens, Michael Dempsey and Eric Powell; and consultant David Manhardt.
Sustainable Jersey said March 5 that 10 more towns achieved Sustainable Jersey certification, bringing the total to 113 municipalities that have been certified since the program was launched in 2009.
Sustainable Jersey's 380 participating communities represent over half of the state's municipalities and nearly 75 percent of its population, the organization said.
The certification is good for three years. Of the 10 that were certified in this review cycle, five towns are being certified for the first time and five towns have been recertified.