Summit's Environmental Commission (EC) is on the lookout for people who want to make a contribution to our local natural and community environment. Joining Summit's "Green Team" is a great start.
Anyone can join the Green Team, including people who are interested in eventually becoming an EC commissioner or those who are transitioning off the EC, or anyone "who is interested in contributing to Summit's sustainable future, and working on projects that positively enhance the environment/community for Summit residents," according to Amy Cairns Harrison, Environmental Commission Chairman.
The EC is an active commission involved in a number of short- and long-term initiatives with the goal of preserving and enhancing our natural environment as well as promoting sustainability in the community. Active involvement in ongoing projects is an important piece of being on the team. Projects currently in the works, including those in coordination with other City of Summit groups and surrounding towns, include:
- Passaic River Greenway/Trails project (with neighboring communities) — Imagine a walking path that runs along the Passaic River through Summit and other nearby communities. That is the goal of this project, the planning stage of which is well underway. Volunteers will be needed to help clear and map parts of the trail and prepare trail guides and other educational materials.
- Martin's Brook watershed cleanup project — The City has a small grant to clean up the Martin's Brook area in Summit (off Butler Parkway). A wooded area with paths, parts of the watershed have become filled with debris from storms and careless visitors. With a few work days by volunteers, Martin's Brook can be restored to a welcoming oasis in the community.
- Community Garden project (with ACHIEVE) — A grant to the Summit YMCA to promote healthy living led to this project. EC member Marian Glenn is actively involved in the community garden, which will be located near Overlook Hospital. Volunteers will be needed to help get the garden up and running.
- Earth Day Clean-Up — Tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 20, 2013, the annual Earth Day Clean-Up is a big draw in Summit for residents, scouts and community groups who want to engage in community service. Volunteers are assigned to different areas in Summit and the result is always a more beautiful Summit, and fun! This year the clean-up will also include trail making along the Passaic River.
- Summit Free Market — Run by high school students, Summit Free Market hosts events twice a year (spring and fall). For three consecutive weekends each season, residents can bring unwanted gently used items to the Transfer Station where other residents can take what they want, all free. Adult volunteers are needed for this popular program.
- EC table at Summit Farmers' Market — The EC sponsors an informational table several times a year at the Summit Farmers' Market on Sunday mornings, and volunteers are always needed. See your friends and make new ones while talking to people about green tips and projects.
Volunteer contribution can be a little or a lot, depending on your interests and availability. No expertise needed! If you are interested in learning more, you can contact Amy Cairns Harrison at email@example.com, or just attend the next EC meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22 p.m. in the large conference room at City Hall.
By Beth Lovejoy, on behalf of the Summit Environmental Commission