As spring slides into summer and the sound of cicadas compete with the sound of traditional landscaping, seeds of hope have taken root in Princeton.
The Changing the Landscape: Healthy Yards = Healthy People/Cambiando el Paisaje: Jardines Sanos = Gente Sana project kicked off in January and is making progress.
The project seeks to move our community to adopt practices that protect the health of landscapers and the environment in a way that embeds racial equity into local decision-making and builds partnerships between government, sustainability groups, and community-led frontline groups.
Key accomplishments to date include:
– Multiple focus groups with landscapers in English and Spanish
– Meetings between landscapers and municipal leadership
– Kicking off a campaign to educate residents to do their part
The project Steering Committee, which includes the Princeton Environmental Commission, Unidad Latina en Acción NJ, the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Quiet Princeton, Rutgers School of Public Health, the Rutgers Environmental Stewards program, and several Municipality of Princeton departments and commissions, including Human Services, the Board of Health, and the Civil Rights Commission, invite you to learn more about the project by reading the Spring 2021 Newsletter at sustainableprinceton.org/current-projects/
What can you do right now to help?
– If you employ a landscaper, make sure they wear protective equipment and register with the municipality.
– Start a conversation with your landscaper. The Toolbook for Sustainable Landscaping Conversations can help: sustainableprinceton.org/current-projects/
– Help us learn more about current landscaping practices by completing this survey: bit.ly/PtonSurvey
Changing ingrained landscaping practices may be complex, but it is not impossible when we work together for healthier people and healthier yards. We look forward to sharing more progress in the Summer 2021 Newsletter in August.
Changing the Landscape/Cambiando el Paisaje
Submitted by Molly Jones