TRENTON –The City of Linden will be honored with a Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award at a ceremony tonight at the New Jersey State Museum.
Linden is being recognized for its ongoing development of the Hawk Rise Sanctuary, a 95-acre preserve that reconnects residents to the Rahway River and the Arthur Kill. Over time, waterfront areas were filled, turned into landfills or cut off from the public because of industrial uses. The Hawk Rise Sanctuary is a blueprint for turning a former landfill into open space and habitat while providing multiple public uses.
Linden and its partners invested over $13.5 million dollars to close and cap their landfill and help restore the Rahway River watershed. Of the 95 preserved acres, 55 acres are grassland converted from the former Linden Landfill. The remainder is salt marsh and wooded wetlands. The sanctuary’s new network of trails, viewing stations, interpretive signs and educational programs connects people with natural areas and wildlife.
Among the other projects and people being honored are Princeton University’s ongoing work toward sustainability, community-wide efforts to reduce stormwater runoff to Camden’s sewer system, a school that has developed an innovative program to conserve and recycle water, and an environmental commissioner who has spearheaded municipal sustainability projects.
“Through their dedication to environmental protection, these award winners are setting an example for all of us to follow,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin. ”We can all learn from them. They are taking actions in their communities to improve our environment. The winners and all of those who participated have set a truly high standard for environmental excellence among all New Jerseyans.’’
This is the 13th annual awards ceremony. Normally held in early December, the 2012 awards ceremony was delayed due to recovery from Superstorm Sandy.
The program became known as the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards in 2006. The program is co-sponsored by the DEP and the New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology, in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.
A panel of judges accepted and reviewed scores of nominations that featured unique or valuable environmental projects and activities.