Environmental Commission wins $1,500 open space grant

| 16 May 2019 | 11:59

Long time efforts to clean up a recognized source of Greenwood Lake pollution are being recognized with praise and some financial assistance.
The West Milford Environmental Commission is one of 15 recipients among 60 applicants to successfully apply for, and receive, a $1,500 Open Space Stewardship grant from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC).
A commission subcommittee has been persistently examining water specimens from Belcher’s Creek for several years in an effort to find and address pollutant sources.
Also being investigated is the creek’s water entrance to Greenwood Lake to see if nitrates and phosphates indicate possible fecal coliform contaminants.
Another commission subcommittee is investigating future recreational use.
The Greenwood Lake Commission has been working in harmony with the WMEC in a joint goal to return the water to the clear, clean quality, and the multi-uses it had a half century or so ago.
“Our review committee was most impressed with the quality and scope of work you have planned for the 2019-20 grant cycle,” wrote ANJEC Deputy Director Elizabeth Ritter in a letter to WMEC Chair Steve Sangle. “I look forward to seeing your progress over the coming months. Thanks for the work you do for your municipality.”
The first two-thirds of the grant will be received soon, with the rest of the money to be sent when the project is done, Ritter said.
To meet grant requirements, the plan has to advance local open space stewardship and raise the profile of the commission in the community through publicity and public participation or collaboration with a local group working on it.
The grant fund projects must be related to open space preservation, management, maintenance, restoration and education.
This is the sixth year of the grant program which is partly supported by a fund established in 2014 through a fundraising campaign to commemorate 29 years of service to ANJEC by retiring Executive Director Sandy Batty.
ANJEC celebrates a 50th birthday this year.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection formed on April 22, 1970, making this the third state in the nation to combine its environmental activities into a single unified agency with about 1,400 employees.
Then Governor William T. Cahill appointed Richard J. Sullivan as the first commissioner of the initially established ANJEC as part of NJDEP support for the many new local commissions being created.
ANJEC was then spun off as an independent nonprofit in 1976.