What is an Environmental Commission?
The history of local environmental commissions date back to 1968, when the State Legislature passed a law authorizing (but not requiring) municipalities to set up conservation commissions. The law made the commissions advisory bodies on local and statewide natural resource planning, environmental protection and open space issues. In 1972, the State Legislature amended the law to expand the commissions' responsibilities to pollution prevention and control, solid waste management, noise control and environmental appearance and to allow the establishment of joint commissions by two or more municipalities.
The Milltown Environmental Commission is a volunteer group made up of environmentally conscious residents who are recommended and appointed on a rotating basis in January of each year by our Mayor. There are positions for seven members and two alternates, each who serve three year terms.
Any resident of Milltown who is interested in serving as a Commission member, or who would like to serve as a volunteer, is encouraged to contact the Borough of Milltown or a Commission member to learn how they might apply to become a member of the Commission or a citizen volunteer. Members must be at least 18 years of age, but volunteers may be of any age.
Environmental Commission meetings are open to the general public and are presently established as Zoom meetings on the 4th Wednesday of each month, beginning at 7:30 PM. Please refer to our borough homepage at milltownnj.org. Simply scroll down to find the list of borough meetings and click on the Zoom link for the Milltown Environmental Commission.
The Milltown Environmental Commission does the following:
their governing bodies, municipal planning/zoning board and residents of a variety of environmental issues and impacts of proposals of development.
for open space planning and preservation at the local, county, and state level.
environmental and natural resource issues for the governing body and recommend solutions.
residents on environmental matters and ways to protect the environment.
with neighboring commissions and other organizations to tackle regional and state problems.
DEVELOP and MAINTAIN
an inventory of the environmental resources and environmentally sensitive areas of the municipality.
Accomplishments of 2022
- Began planning for our future Schwendeman's Nature Center and the preservation of the log cabin located on the County Open Space on Kuhlthau Avenue.
- Developed and approved an Invasive Species ordinance.
- Planned and planted a new Pollinator Garden at Mill Pond Park in conjunction with volunteers, DPW, and Middlesex Master Gardeners program, including grant writing resulting in awarded funds for purchasing native plants.
- Held educational events to inform public on new plastic bag laws.
- Engaged in drinking water education, lead in water testing study, and public outreach in conjunction with Rutgers doctoral candidate.
- Provided educational information, upcycling/crafting activities, free plants, gardening information and tours, and volunteer opportunities for Earth Day and Milltown Day community events.
- Partnered with Lawrence Brook Watershed Partnership to organize a family-friendly field trip to the Middlesex County (Edgeboro) Landfill to learn about our landfills and water treatment plants.
- Offered free tours of the Schwendeman Taxidermy Studio to learn about native and exotic animals.
- Promoted environmentally responsible development in the borough through advisement to the Planning Board.
Goals for 2023
- Weatherproof of the exterior of the Schwendeman Log Cabin
- Update Stormwater ordinance to reflect new green infrastructure standards.
- Tour the recycling center this year!
- Update Kiosk Info at Mill Pond Park
- Continue working to expand the pollinator garden and consider other locations
- Prepare for another successful Earth Day (Success!)
- Work on certain aspects of the Natural Resources Inventory
- Strive to preserve remaining green space within the borough
- Collaborate with the Lawrence Brook Watershed Partnership and other civic organizations in environmental projects and clean-ups