Hillsdale Environmental Commission

Natural Resource and Preservation Hillsdale, NJ


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Believe in the Bees

Faith Macchione is a student at Pascack Valley High School and also a lifelong member of the Girl Scouts. After hearing that her high school was implementing an on-site beekeeping program, she chose to focus her Gold Award project on improving community awareness of the importance of honey bees. Honey bees are critical pollinators, and their decline over the last several years is a significant environmental concern for our shared ecosystem.

We encourage you to visit Faith’s website – “Believe in the Bees” to learn more about the importance of honey bees to global sustainability. We are proud of the way that Faith and other Hillsdale student citizens are dedicated to improving our community and the world through sustainability projects and education.

https://sites.google.com/pascack.org/believe-in-the-bees/home


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State plastic ban in limbo

On Monday, January 13th, 2020, the NJ Senate passed a bill eliminating the use of single use plastics but the measure, which would have been the strongest in the nation, has yet to be voted on by the NJ Assembly. The hold up may be due to a debate over whether paper bags should also be included in the ban. 

ANJEC credits the positive actions taken so far on public and municipal support. They urge all voters to contact their Assembly representatives and also to encourage their municipalities to take up the matter on a local level. 

For more information on single use plastic pollution see : ANJEC website

For story on the NJ State House actions, see : North Jersey News


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Styrofoam trays eliminated in Hillsdale schools

For some time we have known that Styrofoam is an unnecessary, unsustainable material that is bad for the environment.  It is toxic and difficult to recycle, most often ending up in garbage or in the air we breathe or in our precious waterways.

Styrofoam food trays had been used for some time in the Hillsdale School system. It seemed odd to be teaching our children about the environment and what we can do to save the planet, yet serve them cafeteria meals on Styrofoam trays.

Thanks to the efforts of parents, PTA’s and FFA’s at our schools, our Superintendent Mr. Lombardy, and the Hillsdale Board of Education, the schools have switched to paper trays this year and have eliminated the Styrofoam trays in the cafeterias!

According to Mr. Lombardy, “This has a very minimal effect on our budget, yet lets our student body see a consistent message when it comes to the environment. It was just the right thing to do on so many levels.”

A lesson and a win for all!


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Upcoming Events

Upcoming events being planned in Hillsdale:

Spring events currently being planned for the upcoming spring season are the Bi-State Clean-Up on April 27th and a sapling distribution (supplies limited) on April 15th. Stay tuned. Details to follow!

Upcoming seminar at FDU  *Free and Open to the Public* 

Handling our Trash: Getting to a Circular Carbon Economy – nfrpp.org

Americans live with waste every day — a growing problem. Recycling is one of the ways we can have a positive impact on our environment.  Recycling can also provide us with renewable sources of energy which help reduce greenhouse gases. A zero waste recycling strategy only works if we understand our shopping, consumption and disposal habits, with the goal to move toward zero trash sent to landfill and incineration.  This knowledge will not only make us better recyclers but also better voters as we help shape local, state and national environmental policy. This program will clear up confusion and address how to achieve renewable energy and a low carbon economy.

February_21__2019_Flyer


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Native Plant Garden created at Hillsdale Library

Marissa Rack & Faith Macchione have earned a  Girl Scout Silver Award for creating a native garden at the Hillsdale Library.

The native garden incorporates plants native to New Jersey and the Northeast as well as plants that encourage and sustain wildlife like Monarch butterflies.

Milkweed, asters, viburnum, coneflowers and rudbeckia are among the plants adorning the two areas the pair of scouts have created on the eastern side of the library parking lot. Thank you girls for what you have done to improve our community!


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Tree Saplings – free!

Trees are an indispensable part of our environment! Replace lost or damaged trees from winter storms or simply add more trees to your property.

Through the NJ Tree Recovery Program, free saplings will be given away at the following locations on Friday 4/20 from 10am until 4:00 pm

Ann Blanche Smith School – Hillsdale Ave, front entrance

Meadowbrook School – Piermont Ave, front entrance

George White School – Magnolia Ave, basketball court

St. Johns’s Academy – Hillsdale Ave, front entrance

 


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Environmental Cleanup 4/28/18 9am-11am

Join the Hillsdale EC, Hillsdale Scout Troops and numerous other organizations and towns in the Hackensack River Watershed as we clean our communities and waterways.

Check in anytime from 9:00-11:00 on Saturday April 28th, 2018.

Please register (especially groups) with name and approximate number of participants by email to hec@hillsdalenj.org. Pizza lunch thank you provided at noon for volunteers (please bring your own reusable water bottle). High school participants receive community service hours.


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NJ to create more EV charging stations

Using a $10 million grant from the federal government, NJ will begin installing more charging stations for electric vehicles and marine vessels. Let us know… would you like to see charging stations here in Hillsdale?

Federal Grant to Go to EV Charging Stations, Reducing Diesel Emissions

Nearly $10 million will be used to deploy electric-vehicle charging stations at workplaces, trimming emissions from refrigerated trucks

The state is using part of a $9.5 million federal grant to accelerate the installation of electric-vehicle charging stations at workplaces across New Jersey.

The U.S. Department of Transportation funding also is expected to provide money to reduce diesel emissions from refrigerated trucks unloading and loading shipments, as well as emissions from passenger ferries.  See more at NJSPOTLIGHT.com


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Another Asian insect, more dangerous than the Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer is a pest that threatens to destroy all Ash trees in its path if left unchecked. While the debate still rages on how to handle that pest, using pesticides that may hasten bee colony collapse versus importing predatory wasps, a new more lethal insect may be on the doorstep of New Jersey. The spotted lanterfly has no known enemies, even birds do not like to eat them. But unlike the EAB, which only has an appetite for ash trees, the lanternfly enjoys pine trees, stone fruit trees (peach, plum, etc), and grape vines among the 70 species of trees it can destroy as it feeds and reproduces.

Right now, it has only been spotted in Pennsylvania. But it is nearing the New Jersey border.

See Tree-Destroying Bug article from North Jersey News, written by Scott Fallon for more information.


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Recycle the Tree!

xmas-tree For those who may have a cut tree for the holidays, consider this method of disposal:

After clearing tree of all decorations, place tree in a corner of your yard. There are all sorts of birds that do not migrate during the cold winter months. Cardinals, bluejays, sparrows and goldfinches (the Eastern Goldfinch is our state bird!) are just some of New Jersey’s year-round birds that need food, water and shelter in the winter. They will love having a little extra place to hang out during the cold winter months.

Next spring, needles can be composted. Despite myths, they will not acidify the soil so there is no need to worry about where you will put the resulting compost.  Small branches can be mulched, chipped or used as kindling for outdoor fire pits. The larger branches and trunk can be cut and used as garden edging or in outdoor fire pits next fall. Do not use the soft wood of pine trees with indoor fireplaces since the wood is too soft and burns too quickly for this use. 

It may be a little extra work come spring, but the tree will have served a useful purpose long after the holiday season is gone. Even a dead tree can be a gift that keeps on giving!

If you are still not convinced, Hillsdale will be having its Christmas tree pick up January 6th and 13th. Do NOT place your tree in a bag!