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RESOURCES and LINKS

Environmental Commission Resources

General Resources

  • D & R Greenway Land Trust
    A nonprofit land preservation organization for Central Jersey.  They work to preserve watershed lands and large-scale landscapes, thereby preventing the loss of open space to development. Their operating region consists of over 1,500 square miles, encompassing portions of the Delaware, Raritan and Millstone River watersheds and the Delaware & Raritan Canal. This includes Mercer, Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex, Burlington and Monmouth counties.
  • Duke Farms
    “Through the beauty of its natural setting, the diversity of its wildlife, and the scope and quality of its educational programs, demonstrations and research, Duke Farms inspires people to transform their approach to conservation and to start building a more sustainable future.”
  • Earthworks
    A nonprofit dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the adverse impacts of mineral and energy development while promoting sustainable solutions.
  • Nature Conservancy
    An international organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends.
  • Sierra Club
    Works to protect water, air and land through local chapters and legislative lobbying.  See the New Jersey site for updates about Sierra Club chapter activities in our state.

Global Warming

  • State of New Jersey: Global Warming
  • Climate Change
    This site from the EPA is designed to inform the public about the basic climate change facts including an overview of why the climate is changing, what we can do, what you can do to reduce your impact, and the effects of climate change by region of the country as well as by sector of the economy.
  • Household Carbon Footprint Calculator
    Use the EPA’s carbon footprint calculator to estimate your greenhouse gas emissions resulting from energy use, transportation, and waste disposal. This tool helps you understand where your emissions come from and identify ways to reduce them.

Local Resources

  • Lawrence Nature Center
    A 45 acre refuge that offers a stream, forest, meadow, network of trails and a community nature center located at 481 Drexel Ave in Lawrence.
  • Washington Crossing State Park Nature Center
    The center offers nature education programs are for schools, youth groups, community organizations and visitors to the park. The center is open Wednesday through Sunday, year round.  Located at 355 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, Titusville.

Native Plants and Wildlife Gardening

  • The World of Backyard Habitats
    From the New Jersey Audubon Society.  Create a wildlife habitat for pollinators (birds, bees, butterflies, etc), and other wildlife in your community or your backyard. Tips for getting started.  Also of great interest is their 10 Tips for Backyard Habitats.
  • Garden for Wildlife
    How to turn your yard into a haven for wildlife.
  • Lady  Bird Johnson National Suppliers Directory
    Check out this database where you can find native-plant vendors by location
  • The Xerces Society
    A nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates, and their habitat, including, but not only, butterflies, dragonflies, beetles, …
  • Native Plant Society of New Jersey
    A statewide non-profit organization dedicated to the appreciation, protection, and study of the native flora of New Jersey. Known for their Rain Garden Manual, created in partnership with Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program.  Produces a printable PDF with categorized lists of NJ native plants.
  • US Wildflowers of the United States – NJ
    Very nice resource with photos and clickable links for additional information.  (the only downside of the Native Plant Society of NJ data above – a PDF with no images)
  • Invasive Plants in New Jersey
    The NJ Invasive Species Strike Team has an extremely well thought out definition of invasive plants.  They state:
    An invasive species is a non-native organism which is causing harm to the environment, human health or the economy. They are shown to interrupt the natural functions of an ecosystem by impacting native plants and animals.   [Source]
    So, invasives are non-native plants that do too well in New Jersey.  It is recommended that you don’t plants that have been labeled as invasive by a number of organizations.  For a list of plants that have been labeled as invasive in New Jersey, see:

Organic Lawn Care and Gardening

  • Organic Land Care
    Rutgers University provides information for homeowners for home yard and law care without the use of synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or synthetic soil amendments.
  • Rain Gardens
    Create a rain garden on your property to capture storm water runoff from rooftops, driveways, walkways, and compacted lawns.  Otherwise when it rains excess water when it rains will discharge, without any treatment, directly to local waterways through the stormdrain system. This stormwater runoff becomes polluted with contaminants such as oil, grease, excess fertilizer, pesticides, grass clippings, and pet waste.  Download the Rutgers Rain Garden Manual free of charge to help you learn more about how to create a rain garden on your property.
  • Grasscycling Facts
    A compilation of facts and best practices about leaving your grass clippings on your lawn from the Ewing Green Team.
  • Leaf Cycling Information
    Check out this video to see how easy it is to leaf your leaves in your yard each fall. You can leave the leaves on the grass to enrich the lawn or collect in the bag or discharge to the side and keep making passes until the shredded leaves reach the garden bed of your choice.

Radon

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  So don’t take a chance, have your home tested today.

Trees

  • National Tree Benefit Calculator
    To quantify the benefits to your home landscape check out the National Tree Benefit Calculator from Casey Trees in Washington, DC.
  • Native Plant Society of New Jersey
    Find native trees by county in New Jersey with help from the Native Plant Society of NJ.
  • Tree Management Tools
    A toolkit for tree management from the NJ DEP
  • I-Tree Tools
    i-Tree is a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service that provides urban forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools. The i-Tree Tools help communities of all sizes to strengthen their urban forest management and advocacy efforts by quantifying the structure of community trees and the environmental services that trees provide.  Use of the software is free and in the public domain.
  • The i-Tree Storm establishes a standard method to assess widespread damage immediately after a severe storm in a simple, credible, and efficient manner. This assessment method is adaptable to various community types and sizes, and it provides information on the time and funds needed to mitigate storm damage. A Hurricane Adaptation of the utility is also available for i-Tree Storm users.
  • Champion Trees
    Check out the registry of champion trees in New Jersey, of large size and of historical interest.  Learn how to measure  and nominate a tree for inclusion in the registry.
  • PhillyTreeMap
    Philly Tree Map is a web-based map database of trees in the greater Philadelphia region. It has a wiki-style database  that enables participating volunteer organizations, as well as the general public, to collaboratively create an accurate and informative inventory of the trees in their communities.  Girls from Scout Troop 71687 (Lawrence, Ewing, Trenton) and 71823 (Hopewell Valley) are participating in this endeavor and have mapped about 60 trees in Banchoff Park.  Included in the assessment is an assigned tree number, girth, height, common name, scientific name, approximate street address and its benefits to the local environment, including carbon dioxide removed, energy saved, stormwater filtered, and air quality improved.
  • New Jersey Shade Tree Federation
    New Jersey Shade Tree Federation works to educate and advocate to provide tree-lined streets for future generations. “Trees turn cities into home towns.”  Love it!
  • Emerald Ash Borer
    The Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect native to Asia, has killed untold millions of ash trees in urban, rural and forested settings. A recent Rutgers study has identified this beetle in Mercer County, including in Ewing.  If you have ash trees in your yard, check here for more information and possible treatment options.

Water

  • Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association
    The Watershed Association, founded in 1949, protects clean water and the environment throughout the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed through a combination of conservation, advocacy, science and education.  Check out the map to see the extent of its boundaries.
  • Delaware Riverkeeper
    “The Delaware Riverkeeper Network champions the rights of our communities to a Delaware River and tributary streams that are free-flowing, clean and healthy.”  The network monitors the river and all of it tributaries for threats and challenges to its health and then advocate, educate and litigate for protection, restoration and change.
  • Delaware River Basin Commission
    A compact for management of the river and its watershed between the governors of Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania that has the force of law to oversee a unified approach to managing a river system without regard to political boundaries.  Programs include water quality protection, water supply allocation, regulatory review (permitting), water conservation initiatives, watershed planning, drought management, flood loss reduction, and recreation.
  • American Rivers
    A river conservation non-profit that works to ensure clean drinking water supplies, revitalize fish and wildlife, improve recreation, and leave a legacy of healthy rivers for future generations.

 Wildlife

  • NJ Audubon Society
    New Jersey Audubon fosters environmental awareness and a conservation ethic among New Jersey’s citizens; protects New Jersey’s birds, mammals, other animals, and plants, especially endangered and threatened species; and promotes preservation of New Jersey’s valuable natural habitats.
  • The State of North America’s Birds 2016
    This report is based on the first-ever conservation vulnerability assessment for all 1,154 native bird species that occur in Canada, the continental United States, and Mexico. The assessment was compiled by a team of experts from all three countries. Of these 1,154 species, 432 qualified for the Watch List, indicating species of highest conservation concern based on high vulnerability scores across multiple factors.  Scary reading!

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