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(Cherry Hill, N.J.) – Cherry Hill Township unveiled a new municipal sustainability plan on Tuesday, the township’s first formal document to guide the community toward a greener future, and one of the first municipal sustainability plans in New Jersey, Mayor Chuck Cahn and members of the Township’s Green Team announced Tuesday.
The 51-page “Roadmap to our Future,” is the product of more than two years of work by the Mayor, Council, Township administration and Green Team members to develop a sustainable path for the community.
It upholds environmental sustainability as a priority for the Township, and outlines objectives and strategies in five key categories: Health and Wellness; Homes, Buildings and Transportation; Leadership, Education and Training; Community Vitality and Ecology; and Empowerment through Arts and Culture.
“This roadmap is a blueprint that will guide our entire community – our government, businesses and residents alike – to a more sustainable future, and reinforces Cherry Hill’s position as a leader in municipal and community-wide sustainability,” Mayor Chuck Cahn said. “It is a living, breathing document; one that sets a solid foundation, while allowing us to track our progress and set new goals as we move forward.”
The plan’s many highlights and objectives include:• The eventual creation of a Sustainability Director position to coordinate and lead all sustainability efforts throughout town;• Educational “enforcement” of anti-idling laws;• Promoting physical activity, fitness and recreation, as well as access to healthy local food sources and information; • Encouraging green practices by local government, businesses and homeowners, and encouraging more sustainable building and land-use policies; • Continued work to increase recycling rates among residents, and establishing a more robust business-recycling program; • Creating marketing campaigns to promote the outdoors in Cherry Hill and exploration of our parks, playgrounds and cultural/historic sites; • Encouraging the use of multi-modal transportation, and providing accessible trails/paths to connect neighborhoods and businesses;• Promoting art and cultural opportunities in the community, and encouraging greater interaction between diverse populations in the community.
“I am especially proud that this plan looks beyond the traditional definition of ‘sustainability,’ to focus on elements like our history, diversity, and cultural resources,” Cahn said. “These are aspects of our town that are essential to promote and preserve, if our goal is truly to maintain the vitality of all of Cherry Hill for our future generations.”
All the roadmap’s initiatives will be pursued through a strong partnership between the Township, Sustainable Cherry Hill, the Cherry Hill Environmental Board, Cherry Hill Public Schools and members of the community.
Cherry Hill Public Schools have worked to promote sustainability in the curriculum in the last several years, with a number of schools applying for and receiving Green Schools Grants used for educational programming. All 19 Township schools have also been active participants in the Sustainable Cherry Hill Earth Festival.
“The Sustainability Roadmap represents the formalization of the ongoing work in Cherry Hill to focus on a lifestyle of sustainability,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Meloche. “The generation of children currently in our schools is truly the sustainable generation – as we educate them on the structure and the process of what we know about how to live sustainability, they educate the adults on the critical importance of why sustainability must remain the lens through which we approach our lives.”
Sustainable Cherry Hill President Scott Downie noted the importance of community-wide cooperation in bringing the plan’s goals to fruition:
“Cherry Hill’s establishment of a Sustainability Roadmap is an exciting step forward in continuing building our strong, exciting and increasingly sustainable community,” Downie said. “While much effort and input has gone into this achievement, it is now up to us – Township residents, leaders and sustainability champions – to make sure the promise of this roadmap is realized. Let that be our commitment.”
A full copy of the Roadmap to our Future can be found at