TRENTON, N.J., April 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sustainable Jersey announced today $200,000 in grant money for municipal sustainability projects, offering good news for leaders of cash-strapped towns across New Jersey. Funded by the PSEG Foundation, the Sustainable Jersey Small Grants Program will support thirty-two projects that leverage resources to make communities more livable, environmentally friendly and prosperous.
"PSEG is committed to being a steward of the environment and making meaningful contributions to the communities it serves," said Anne Hoskins, senior vice president of public affairs and sustainability for PSEG, one of New Jersey's oldest companies and largest employers. "We are proud to support this program and to fund projects that will make life better in neighborhoods all over New Jersey."
Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit that provides tools, training and financial incentives for communities that pursue sustainability programs. The 2012 Sustainable Jersey Small Grants Program will award local governments with four $20,000 grants, eight $10,000 grants and twenty $2,000 grants for projects like electric vehicle charging stations, school food composting centers and community gardens.
To apply, a municipality must submit a proposal describing its local sustainability initiative, detailing the commitment of the municipality to sustainability and collaboration with nearby municipalities to leverage resources. Proposals will be reviewed and scored by a selection committee composed of sustainability experts and public figures.
"We greatly appreciate PSEG's vision in funding the grants. The impact that these projects will make in New Jersey is incredible," said Pam Mount, Chair of the Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees. "Funding green initiatives at the community level will have a ripple effect that will benefit us all."
New Jersey is the first state in the nation to have a comprehensive sustainability program for communities that links certification with strong state and private financial incentives, and a fully resourced program of technical support and training. Sustainable Jersey has streamlined, incentivized and guided the process.
A core element of the Sustainable Jersey program is to direct funding and resources to municipalities to aid them in making progress. Currently, 64 percent of New Jersey's towns and cities (361 towns across all 21 counties) have registered to become Sustainable Jersey certified.
To date, $595,000 has been awarded through the Sustainable Jersey's Small Grants program. Eighty grants for sustainability projects have been given to New Jersey municipalities representing 20 counties.
Towns and communities interested in applying for a grant can visit the Sustainable Jersey Web site (www.SustainableJersey.com) to read the grant requirements and download the application. Proposals are due to Sustainable Jersey on July 15, 2012.
About Sustainable Jersey
Sustainable Jersey is a certification program for municipalities in New Jersey. Launched in 2009, Sustainable Jersey is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that supports community efforts to reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and improve environmental equity. Sustainable Jersey is empowering New Jersey towns to build a better world for future generations. It provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward communities as they pursue sustainability programs. New Jersey is the first state in the nation to have a comprehensive sustainability program for communities that links certification with strong state and private financial incentives, and a fully resourced program of technical support and training. Sustainable Jersey is 100 percent voluntary and each town can choose whether it wants to get certified and the actions it wants to do in order to achieve enough points to get certified.
Sustainable Jersey's partners include the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, the Institute for Sustainability Planning at The College of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. Program sponsors include the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, BPU, PSEG, New Jersey Natural Gas, Church and Dwight, Covanta Energy, EcoMatters, New Jersey American Water, Real Goods Solar, South Jersey Gas, Terhune Orchards, Waste Management of New Jersey, Atlantic City Electric, Citizens Campaign, Concord Engineering and the New Jersey Food Council.
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SOURCE Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)