HARRINGTON PARK, N.J. — The HP Greenteam and the Harrington Park Environmental Commission have several tasks on its agenda lined up to keep the borough environmentally friendly for generations to come.
“It’s not just about now, but those who will be here 50 years from now,” said Peter Ardito, the chairman of the commission. “We have the best of both worlds here."
The group acts as an advisory group for the borough council and organizes clean-ups for the community twice a year.
It's also working on an ordinance to keep vehicles from idling in town and in accordance to state laws, in addition to growing a tree far.
They welcome Boy Scouts who are looking to cleanup and care for parts of the borough.
One of the concerns is the dangers behind CSX freight trains carrying dangerous fuel through towns. Ardito hopes that they can continue to protect water sources that not only individuals depend on, but the wildlife that live in the area, too.
“My wife and I saw a bald eagle - there are a few nesting pairs in the area," Ardito said. "You have to make some effort to take care of it. We have a wonderful mayor and council who are looking to work with us."
Although the borough has sleepy-town woodlands, and is roughly 40 minutes from Manhattan, unlike surrounding areas, it does not have the benefit of a corporate park, or ratables.
Suez, formerly United Water, and a major corporate resident in the area, recently relocated to Hackensack, leaving some of the burden of future taxes to locals.
“I would much rather live in a place with trees and grass rather than factories - it’s pretty much a no-brainer - it is a draw for many to come here," Ardito said.
The borough has received honors and acquired the most points for a town of 5,000 or under through the Sustainable New Jersey program.
People earn points by inquiring about and following through with guidelines, recycling, and by having dedicated teams and activities for young people to take on the issues.
“We have to be good stewards of the environment," Ardito said.