I don't know about you, but I've certainly noticed a pattern and apparently, so has the mayor of Montclair. In yesterday's Montclair Times, mayor Jerry Fried observes "In so many things green, Montclair has been there first". What is it about this town that fosters green innovation and attracts so many like minds? Fried attributes the phenomenon to two factors: The shared values and the physical characteristics of the town.
Perhaps the desire for diversity, education and tolerance attracts people with a certain mindset - according to Fried it's the key to evolutionary and biological resilience as well as sustainability. These same people seem also to appreciate Montclair's layout - a sensible, tree-lined grid of streets with neighborhood commercial zones that evolved around the 6 train stations. The walkable streets of Montclair, where housing is integrated in many areas with shops, restaurants, parks and public gathering places makes it a model for vibrant community living.
In honor of Earth Day, here now, a partial list of Montclair's green accomplishments:
- $750,000 grant for NJ's first Safe Routes to School program
- $100,000 grant for Bike/Pedestrian Plan
- NJ's first "Boltage" program at Edgemont School, (a trip-logging system for walkers/bikers)
- First community to adopt a Complete Streets policy
- Streets Are For Everyone program (SAFE)
- Tour de Montclair bike tour sponsored by Bike/Walk Montclair
- First municipal electric car charging stations
- Montclair State University's Institute of Sustainability Studies
- A designated EPA Climate Showcase Community
- NJ's only National Wildlife Federation Certified Community Wildlife Habitat
- www.OurPowerMontclair.org website