- SHP, in concert with the Borough, is taking the lead on the rollout of the new plastics state law. Starting on November 4, 2021 plastic straws may NOT be automatically handed out with drinks. A straw MUST be requested. SHPers are going around HP to notify the nearly 40 food establishments that it is now “straws upon request only.” Starting on May 4, 2022 the state prohibits a single use carry-out plastic bag and in grocery stores larger than 2500 sq ft, it also prohibits paper bags as well. Get in the swing now. Skip the straw altogether and if you are not yet already, bring your own reusable bags for shopping in all stores.
- SHP is discussing a virtual environmental film series for 2022. We are starting with a showing of the environmental justice film “The Sacrifice Zone” on Sunday January 23 at 4 pm. This film documents the experiences of residents in the Ironbound, a neighborhood in Newark, NJ, who breathe in more toxic chemicals daily than almost any other community in the US. Watch the movie and then be part of a conversation about how to become better neighbors and allies in fighting for justice in this community. If you have ideas of films to show, please get in touch with us.
- SHP is planning for Earth Day, 2022, on May 1, outdoors, (probably) at the Environmental Center on River Road. Planning meetings will begin in January. The theme will be Climate Change: Impacts and Solutions. It will be three years since our last SHP’s Earth Day, 2019 event and we are eager to be interacting with residents of Highland Park again. If you are interested in helping us plan, go to the contact page and sign up to help.
- South Side Clean Up (SSCU) did a presentation for SHP at our October 27th meeting. They are a newly formed resident group that is trying to reduce the litter in their neighborhoods. They meet twice a month on Sunday mornings and collect bags of trash. They have made recommendations to the Borough Council to improve the current situation. SHP intends to collaborate with SSCU on education campaigns to keep our borough cleaner. To get in touch with Southside Clean Up email firstname.lastname@example.org
- SHP recommended to the Borough Council ” Resolution in Support of Fossil Fuel Divestment and Increased Green Investment in the NJ State Pension Fund.” In addition, the Environment Commission and the Board of Health weighed in positively on this resolution. It was sent to Borough Council and unanimously adopted on October 19, 2021.
- SHP also recommended to the Borough Council “Resolution In Support of Withdrawal of CPV Application for a 2nd Keasbey Gas-Fired Power Plant.” This resolution was also sent to the Borough Council and unanimously adopted on October 19, 2021. Edison Township Council has adopted a similar resolution.
- SHP is working closely with the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership (LRWP), under the auspices of the Borough’s collaboration with them. Our Borough now has a webpage that explains the work of improving stormwater management. Highland Park received 8.7 inches of rainfall during Hurricane Ida. So many basements were flooded that had previously not taken on water. Go to “Resources” on this webpage to read about green infrastructure approaches that can improve our situation year round and particularly during a climate-driven extreme weather event. Also read Issue #1 of our Stormwater Management Newsletter (prepared by the LRWP.) SHP will be doing education and outreach around stormwater management. Look for programs on this subject or better yet, work with us on developing them.