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Green Team

Bernardsville Green Team

The Bernardsville Green Team is an all volunteer community outreach and educational organization that supports the mission of Sustainable Jersey

Sustainable Jersey is a certification program for municipalities in New Jersey that want to go green, save money, and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term.

We strive to accomplish this by raising awareness that small individual steps can collectively lead to significant changes. The initiatives and events we promote seek to motivate individuals, families and businesses to change their behavior in support of the community's goals for sustainability.

For a list of Team Members, click here.

Visit our Photo Gallery


The collaborative efforts of the Bernardsville Green Team, the Bernards High Green Team, and the Borough of Bernardsville resulted in our community becoming a Sustainable Jersey Bronze Certified Community in November of 2010 and recertified in December 2013 after obtaining 255 points. We are one of 117 bronze certified towns out of the 407 communities participating in the program.


Sustainable Jersey strives for a better tomorrow one community at a time. The program encompasses the three equal, interrelated components of sustainability:

  • Prosperity - Support your local economy and use community resources.
  • Planet - Practice responsible environmental management and conservation.
  • People - Embrace social equity and fairness.

The program is a consensus oriented, science based, politically relevant effort to align the interests and resources of actors from state and local, public and private, for the common purpose of achieving a sustainable New Jersey and world.

Adopt-A-Park Information

The Bernardsville Green Team is proud to introduce the Bernardsville Family Adopt a Park Site Program. Many of Bernardsville’s Public Parks have been divided into sites that are small enough for a single family or group to conduct a trash clean up in about an hour. By adopting a site, each group is agreeing to clean their site at least once a month. Every adoptive family or group will be listed on the Bernardsville Green Team website next to the site description for the site they have adopted. Each group must have an adult over the age of 18 who will be present at the cleanups.

Bernardsville Adopt a Park Site Program Information

Look for sites at:

Deer Management Information

The Bernardsville Green Team would like to share a video with useful information about deer management with residents. This brief talk took place at the NJ Audubon Society. Pola Galie and Dan Roberts, two experts on deer management, briefly describe the roles of the State Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs and the Department of Fish and Wildlife in NJ.

What is the Green Challenge?

It's easy - yet a powerful way to save money and play a part in shaping Bernardsville's future as a sustainable community. The program is designed to raise awareness that small individual steps can collectively lead to significant changes. Here's some information and details on how to get started.

Become a "Green Challenge Home"

The Challenge is comprised of twelve attainable "green actions" which aim to motivate individuals, families and businesses to change their behavior in support of the community's goals for sustainability. The items focus on issues such as home energy efficiency measures, water usage, recycling, waste reduction, transportation, local and sustainable food, composting and environmental activities. Participants pledge to complete five actions but are encouraged to meet as many challenges as possible.

When residents complete the challenge and return their pledge form, they will receive a lawn sign to proudly display that acknowledges they are a GREEN CHALLENGE HOME. The hope is this will create a buzz about town and generate more community involvement, thus moving Bernardsville closer to achieving the Silver level certification under the Sustainable Jersey program. Instructions on how and where to return your form are included on the Green Challenge Pledge form.

Let The Challenge Begin!

To take the pledge, the first step is to review all the actions you can take. The Green Challenge Pledge Form contains a list of all actions that count towards the Challenge in addition to instructions on how and where to return your form when you have completed it.

New Rain Garden in Bernardsville

Bernardsville became much more water-friendly this spring with informational and hands-on programs.  First at the Bernardsville Public Library with a presentation on how to make your backyard, school yard, parks and businesses more beautiful and ecologically sustainable while saving money.  Followed by a hands-on event on April 2, which curiously enough was rained out.  See photos (1-4) with volunteers from the Community Garden: Wanda Knapik, director, Mark and Sybil Cozin, Rosalie Baker, Courtney Sikes, and Mara Tippett, AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador for the Upper Raritan, and Kristi MacDonald, Bernardsville Environmental Commission & Raritan River Coalition. See more photos (5-10) taken on April 22 preparing the soil bed by Mara, Kristi, and Peter Birnbaum, Borough Council.

Then on Sunday, May 1, despite more rainy weather, a new, ecologically sustainable rain garden was planted near the Community Garden on the Dunster Squibb property on Route 202 and Spring House Road in Bernardsville.  See photos (6-19) of the planting.  The rain garden was created to capture rainwater, allowing it to soak naturally into the soil, thereby reducing problems with storm water runoff and helping to recharge the groundwater aquifer.  In addition, the carefully selected native plants will filter and reduce pollutants such as sediments, nutrients and pesticides.  Tags with the names of the plants were left on for identification to educate community residents who visit the garden and encourage them to install their own rain gardens. The gardeners in the photos are Kevin Sooy, Mayor of Bernardsville, and his wife Veronica, Mara Tippett, AmeriCorps NJ Watershed Ambassador for the Upper Raritan, Kristi MacDonald, Bernardsville Environmental Commission & Raritan River Coalition, and Peter Birnbaum, Bernardsville Borough Council.  The rain garden is part of a larger program to help Bernardsville become more river friendly and is co-sponsored by Raritan Headwaters, the Bernardsville Green Team and Environmental Commission.  Funding for the native plants was provided by North Jersey RC&D and Wild Ridge Nursery.  Photography by Ed English, Green Team. For more information please contact

Borough of Bernardsville Awarded Sustainability Grant

Our Green Team was awarded a $2,000 Sustainable Jersey capacity-building grant funded by the PSEG Foundation. Grants were distributed to 32 municipalities to fund a variety of projects including reclaiming paved surfaces for community gardens, protecting community tree cover, water conservation, green infrastructure, natural resources protection, park revitalization, promoting healthy lifestyles and green team capacity building. Bernardsville successfully completed a number of green team initiatives including education and outreach programs, the community garden, and flood hazard mitigation research.
"The work of our Green Team has been recognized by the community and surprisingly, new projects are being recommended that they were not aware of prior to receiving the grant." –Kevin Sooy, Mayor, Bernardsville