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Environmental Commission Blog



Franklin Township Community Day!

Growing and Identifying Native Plants – Go native!

Franklin Township Community Day Environmental Commission Booth On September 23rd at this year’s event the EC booth will be all about growing native plants in your yard. The benefits of going native will be presented along with native flowering plant seedlings, native flower seeds, and native trees to take home. Pick up a brochure of environmental commission events, highlighting park clean ups and guided hikes at our township parks with guest naturalists providing exciting learning experiences. 

The EC booth will feature our own resident expert on native plants, Joe Arsenault, who will identify wild plant samples brought to him. Bring a sample or a photo of a wild plant and Joe will tell you all about it. Joe will also answer your native plant questions. An array of native plants to grow in your yard will be on exhibit.

Stop by, visit and walk away with some free seeds, plants or trees to get you started going native in your yard.

See you there!

Junior Members of the Environmental Commission

Committeewoman Leah Vassallo and Deputy Mayor Dave Deegan along with Environmental Chairwoman Barbara Halpern welcome our newest junior members of the Environmental Commission Trenton Fischer, Paula Thompson, Malaina Mattson, and Victoria Tyran.

Welcome and congratulations!

They ask good questions.

The EC (Environmental Commission) got the letter from a science class at Reutter School.

They want to know when did the EC start?

What areas of Franklin Twp have you (EC) helped the most?

Why did the EC start?

The Franklin Township Environmental Commission was formed in 1976, 8 years before I became involved.  It was formed in response to increasing environmental awareness and enabling legislation that was first passed in 1968.  The first chairperson was Ted Kiefer, who may have been an advocate for the establishment of the Commission.  Aubrey Patten was chair when I began attending meetings.


Sustainable New Jersey gives a fairly concise statement about hows and whys of Environment Commissions:  “The Environmental Commission takes the lead on local environmental issues and serves as a base of local expertise. Created by the municipal government, it informs the local planning and zoning boards about the environmental impacts of proposed development, advocates for open space preservation, researches and makes recommendations on natural resource issues, informs residents on ways to protect the environment, and develops a natural resource inventory (NRI)–also known as an environmental resource inventory (ERI)– for the town.  In these and various other ways, the Environmental Commission is an essential ingredient for creating a sustainable community.”


Franklin Township’s Environmental Commission has actively pursued all of the activities listed in the quoted paragraph and had major roles in the development of the recycling program and the annual Franklin Township Community Day celebration.  All sections of the township have benefitted from the Environmental Commission’s work.  The improvements made to the township’s Master Plan and Planning and Zoning ordinances that guide development in our community are largely a result of Environmental Commission input working with many others.


I hope this is helpful to these young people.



Picture and caption from: http://www.franklintownshipnj.org/junior-members-of-the-environmental-commission/