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Richard E. Byrd Elementary School awarded sustainability grant

Submitted by: Andrea H. Tahinos, Glen Rock School District Director of Communications

The Richard E. Byrd Elementary School was awarded a $2,000 Sustainable Jersey for Schools capacity-building grant funded by the PSEG Foundation. Six $10,000 grants and twenty $2,000 grants were distributed to fund school and school district projects across New Jersey including a recycling program, after-school garden clubs, filtered water bottle filling stations, a pollinator garden, a recycling campaign to reduce the number of single-use plastic water bottles and much more.

“The Richard E. Byrd School is delighted to be selected as one of the 2018 Sustainable New Jersey and the PSEG Foundation grant recipients.  We intend to use this grant to design and establish a native plant garden in the Serenity Garden area in the back of our school.  Members of the Byrd Beautification Team, students, faculty and parents will combine their efforts to clean up and prepare the area before planting the new flora.  Lonicera sempervirens, commonly called trumpet honeysuckle, a vigorous, deciduous, twining vine, will be grown on two trellises that will be implanted in the area. 


Also included in this space will be a picnic table and benches made of recycled materials so visitors to the area will have a place to sit and enjoy the environment.


We thank Sustainable New Jersey and the PSEG Foundation for this honor and opportunity.”


“It’s a great honor to support schools and school districts that are doing the important work of integrating sustainability into student learning around the state. These projects have a significant impact on New Jersey’s sustainability goals and will directly benefit the students,” commented Randall Solomon, the executive director of Sustainable Jersey. He extended his congratulations to all of the schools and districts that received grants.


The PSEG Foundation has contributed over one million dollars in funding to the Sustainable Jersey Grants Program. “We are proud to partner with Sustainable Jersey, an organization bringing about real positive change for our state, to support and help fund projects that provide sustainable neighborhoods, economic development and STEM education. By supporting sustainable education in schools, we can help guide children and engage entire communities in the ways to help transform the environment,” said Barb Short, president of the PSEG Foundation.


Proposals were evaluated by an independent Blue-Ribbon Selection Committee. The Sustainable Jersey for Schools grants are intended to help school districts and schools make progress toward a sustainable future in general, and specifically toward Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification. Currently 300 districts and 745 schools have registered to work toward Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification.


Byrd School is a 103 year-old institution situated in a residential section of Glen Rock and educates children in Kindergarten through fifth grade.  This project beautified our Serenity Garden, which is located in the back of the school and has as its centerpiece a mosaic tile mural of the school’s namesake and his exploration of Antarctica.  The mural was designed and created by Byrd School students, parents and community members.


About Sustainable Jersey for Schools

Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a certification program for public schools in New Jersey. It was launched by Sustainable Jersey, an organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward municipalities and schools as they pursue sustainability programs.


Sustainable Jersey for Schools is underwritten by the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). The 2018 Sustainable Jersey for Schools grants program is funded by the PSEG Foundation, NJEA and the Gardinier Environmental Fund. Founding Sponsor contributors are South Jersey Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas and NJM Insurance Group. The Bronze Sponsors are BioShine, Gabel Associates and Schneider Electric.


Program partners include: NJSBA, NJEA, New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA), New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO), New Jersey Parent Teacher Association (NJPTA), New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA), New Jersey School Buildings and Grounds Association (NJSBGA) and The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ).






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