At first glance, we may not associate wildlife with the Borough of Collingswood. Yet, a vast and wonderful array of wildlife does live within our borders. Various insects, different plant species, and animals such as foxes, skunks, wild turkeys, and a diverse variety of birds, just to name a few, call Collingswood home. This interconnected ecosystem enriches and protects not only our town but our entire planet. Conserving their natural habitats ensures that future generations of both wildlife and humans can continue to enjoy Mother Nature and a sustainable Earth.
With this goal in mind, the Borough of Collingswood passed three important ordinances to protect its wildlife and their natural habitats. The first is the Pledge to Support Wildlife. This Pledge is our community’s first step in recognizing the important role that wildlife plays in healthy, sustainable communities. The pledge commits the municipality to essential principles that incorporate the interests of New Jersey wildlife into land use management practices and any future development projects.
The Green Grounds ordinance puts the commitment to protect wildlife and their habitats into practice. It ensures that our municipally maintained parks, gardens, and landscaped areas are managed in the most efficient and environmentally friendly manner. This includes landscaping with low-maintenance plantings, maximizing water conservation and minimizing surface runoff, utilizing recycled and composted materials, and taking eco-friendly approaches to integrated pest management.
The Light Pollution ordinance also plays an important role in protecting our natural resources. In addition to minimizing annoying glare caused by misdirected or excessive lighting, nocturnal animals sleep during the day and are active at night. Light pollution radically alters their nighttime environment by turning night into day and interferes with reproduction and reduces their population. This ordinance can reduce these negative impacts and allow the stars to again become part of the community landscape.
Taken together, these three ordinances, combined with other Collingswood sustainability initiatives and policies, will result in improved health of natural habitats, preservation of ecological integrity, and the conservation of limited and valuable resources. Collingswood is committed to protecting the quality of life for all its “residents”—both people and wildlife alike.