EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – The Sustainable Jersey Atlantic-Cape May Counties Regional Hub will hold a special in-person mixer to offer information on “green schools” 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 18 at Hidden Sands Brewery, 6754 Washington Ave.

The free event will highlight local school champions and resources available to schools.

School and municipality Green Team members are encouraged to attend. In addition, education and local government officials and staff are invited.

Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a certification program for public schools in New Jersey that want to go green, conserve resources and take steps to create a brighter future. The program was launched in 2014 by Sustainable Jersey, an organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward municipalities and schools as they pursue sustainability programs. To date, 1,050 schools are participating in the program.

Like Sustainable Jersey ‘s municipal certification program, Sustainable Jersey for Schools outlines specific actions that schools can take that help them to go green and improve over the long term. The program also provides grants. Sustainable Jersey for Schools has awarded more than $2.6 million in grants to schools and school districts.

“The May 18 mixer is a great way to shine a light on what some of the amazing educators, administrators and school staff in our area have achieved through the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program and to hear about some of the resources that can help schools and towns that are on a path toward sustainable future,” said JoAnna Contarino of the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program. She will be at the event to give an overview and to answer questions.

Sustainable Jersey for Schools will help schools improve efficiency, cut waste and contribute to students’ environmental and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.

“It’s important to bring people together to share ideas on how to advance sustainability initiatives in their local communities,” hub Co-chairman Ralph Cooper said.

He said collaboration between school and municipality green teams can be beneficial while maintaining a high level of community awareness and the sustainment of established programs.

The Atlantic-Cape May Hub was formed to bring local green teams in the two counties together to share resources and to support each other.

Hub Co-chair Amy Menzel adds, “Hub events are a fun and informative way to help people to share ideas and to find opportunities to partner on projects and initiatives.”

Regardless of whether your school or municipality has a green team or is registered with Sustainable Jersey, everyone is welcome to the event.

There is no cost to attend but interested residents and municipal officials are encouraged to register online at Light refreshments will be served along with a cash bar.

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.