FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Newark, NJ - April 23, 2010 - The City of Newark, the Newark Environmental Commission, and the Newark Bears partnered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day last night, at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium, before the evening’s home opener against the Camden Riversharks. Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium located at 450 Broad Street.
“It has been a goal of my administration over the past four years to provide quality parks and recreation in every ward and neighborhood. In addition, my administration has adopted eco-friendly practices and policies, to address global climate change. Our Earth Day programs will unite our administration, our non-profit partners, and our residents in an alliance to create a cleaner and greener Newark,” Mayor Booker said in a statement. “I urge all residents to join us on Earth Day. Together we can help save our planet and build a stronger, safer, prouder City.”
“The Bears look forward to doing our part, joining the Mayor and Council, and continuing to lead by example. Our organization will continue to use this great venue to show case important causes and projects. This celebration of both Earth Day and Bears’ Opening Day is a chance to promote our Green initiative and start the drive for yet another Bears Championship Season,” said Bears Baseball LLC Senior Vice President Tom Cetnar III.
The activities began with an “Earth Day Dialogue” at 3:30 p.m., in which residents were able to learn about “green” programs and share their ideas and concerns with Newark environmental and business leaders. The first 200 people to attend received a free tree sapling.
“Together with residents, businesses and community organizations, in Newark we are greening our homes, greening our neighborhoods, and greening our local economy. We are meeting global goals of carbon reduction by creating climate prosperity - already, more than 1,000 homes have been weatherized, and more than 40 businesses enrolled in cost saving energy programs. Together, we are making a difference,” said City of Newark Sustainability Officer Chelsea Albucher. She works closely with the City’s Environmental Commission and municipal departments to advance policy, programs and partnerships to enhance environmental health and advance economic development.
At 5:45 p.m., the City and the Bears honored Newark’s “Green Leaders” on the field, saluting business, non-profit, and community organizations that are working to “green” Newark. A list of organizations is attached.
“Newark needs the support of every resident in the battle to protect our planet and its environment. By acting locally, we make an impact globally. I urge our residents to learn about our recycling, ‘green’ construction, weatherization, and other environmental programs, to share them with family, friends, and community, and make ‘going green’ and Earth Day part of their daily lives. I commend all the community partners who have come together for today’s celebrations as together we ‘Green’ Newark,” said Deputy Mayor for Neighborhood Engagement Margarita Muñiz, who presented the awards.
“We are literally building a ‘green’ Newark by encouraging environmentally-friendly construction methods, practices, and developers in our City. Doing so make both environmental and economic sense. ‘Green’ construction will help protect and improve Newark’s environment, and provide jobs and career opportunities for Newark residents in these growing fields. So our ‘green’ programs are a win-win situation for all Newark residents, and I encourage all of our residents to get involved, and help keep Newark ‘green,’” said Director of Public Safety Anthony Campos.
In addition, thanks to support from the Edison Innovation Foundation, residents were able to donate old electronic equipment at the Stadium to the Urban Renewal Corporation for recycling. The first 100 persons who did so received a discount on their ticket to the evening’s game. These donations are tax-deductible, and will benefit the City of Newark’s Re-Entry Initiative. For more information on Newark based donation sites, contact Urban Renewal at (973) 268-9873.
“Our community and environment are on the precipice of critical times. With over a billion computers and electronic waste needed to be recycled over the next decade, it’s time to be creative. Urban Renewal has created a program that trains formerly incarcerated and economically disadvantaged people to recycle, repair and refurbish used technology. We are committed to making a positive change for our community and environment,” said Lane Jacobs, CEO of Urban Renewal Corporation.
The celebration at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium was the highlight of “Earth Month” in Newark, which is offering residents a variety of “green” activities, including tree-planting, gardening workshops, and seminars. The culmination of the month’s activities will be held on Arbor Day, on April 30, when Mayor Booker and Governor Chris Christie will join 13th Avenue School students and volunteers in Newark’s West Ward to plant more than 150 trees. A list of city-wide tree-planting dates and locations is attached.
“Greening Newark is about our well being, it is about our making our homes and neighborhoods better, safer, healthier. Greening Newark is about our future, it is about our children and our children’s children. Getting involved is creating your legacy. Planting trees are a wonderful symbol of Newark's commitment to ensuring a vibrant, prosperous Newark,” Council Member-at-Large Donald M. Payne, Jr. said in a statement.
“Every Newarker has the right to a clean and healthy environment where they live, work, and play. I encourage everyone to take action. Together we can realize healthier neighborhoods, vibrant businesses, and create jobs. Going Green will not be done by the City alone. It takes the participation of each and every one of us. The Environmental Commission has information about how you can get involved, by greening your home, greening your neighborhood and greening our economy,” said Kim Gaddy, Chair of the City of Newark’s Environmental Commission.
Some of the programs planned for Earth Month in Newark include the following:
· Tree-planting across Newark in April and May, in partnership with the Newark Renaissance Tree Program. Contact: Shannon Buckley at (609) 439-1755, or visit their website at www.newjerseytreefoundation.org
· The Greater Newark Conservancy making Flower Barrels available. Contact: (973) 642-4646 or www.citybloom.org
· Gardening Workshops, hosted by the Greater Newark Conservancy, in April, May, June, and July. Contact: (973) 642-4646 or www.citybloom.org
· The New Jersey Environmental Federation Annual Conference, set for the Rutgers University Center for Law and Justice, on Saturday, April 17, to discuss environmental health and justice issues facing New Jersey. Contact: (732) 280-8988 or http://cleanwaterfund.org/feature/2010conference
· Essex County Environmental Center Earth Day on Saturday, April 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The center will offer activities, tours, demonstrations, and free snacks. It is located at 621 Eagle Rock Avenue in Roseland. Contact: (973) 226-6082
· The Trust for Public Land’s Park Leadership Forum, on Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Central High School. The theme is “Connecting Schools, City Agencies, and Communities.” Central High is located at 246 18th Avenue.
Contact :(973) 718-7338, Ext. 105, or donna.Kirkland@tpl.org