The mission of the Closter Environmental Commission, maintained by the Borough of Closter, is to protect and preserve the natural resources and environment of the Borough by providing recommendations on issues such as open space preservation, water resources management, air pollution control, solid waste management, and noise control, as well as overseeing passive recreation sites and parkland. The Commission conducts research and provides recommendations on the use of open land areas and parkland, while also reviewing applications to the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment. The Commission holds annual Closter Cleanup Days and other events to engage the community in environmental protection, and provides resources and information on topics such as recommended tree lists, pollinator gardens, and reducing air pollution. Meetings are open to the public and held on the second Thursday of every month. The Commission is committed to promoting a healthier and more sustainable environment for all residents of Closter.

FAQs

The Closter Environmental Commission works to improve and protect all life in the Borough of Closter. Like other environmental commissions, it is an advisory body that does not create legislation but rather provides advice and insight to both the government and the public.

  • Advising Closter’s Planning and Zoning Boards based on surveys of development sites. It also provides general recommendations on open space preservation, energy and water use, waste management, and mitigation of air, water, noise, and light pollution. 
  • Responding to climate change by encouraging decarbonization through the electrification of homes, vehicles, and landscaping, and by supporting mitigation efforts such as flood resilience and emergency preparedness.
  • Engaging and educating residents by hosting public campaigns and events, by publishing information in newsletters and on its website, and by maintaining two public demonstrator gardens.
  • Maintaining natural resources by managing 11 passive parks and providing advice on open land areas.
  • Municipal government: The Mayor and Council, the Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Shade Tree Commission, the Department of Public Works, the Closter Recreation Commission, and the Police Department
  • Local institutions: Closter Public Library, the Superintendent of Schools, and local business and nonprofit groups
  • Environmental groups: Closter Nature Center, the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, The Bergen County Audobon Society, the New Jersey Sierra Club, and Sustainable Jersey
  • Developing a new website at www.sustainablecloster.org
  • Pursuing certification from “Sustainable Jersey,” a nonprofit that promotes sustainable practices
  • Creating two public demonstrator gardens: “Pollinator Garden” at Buzzoni Farm Park and “Native Grasses and Groundcovers Garden” at MacBain Farm
  • “Closter Cleanup Day,” a volunteer, town-wide cleanup of trails and streets
  • “No Mow May,” a campaign to support pollinators
  • Pursuing adoption of the model EV charging ordinance
  • Developing a plan to electrify Closter’s police vehicles
  • A solar-powered air quality monitor at Buzzoni Farm Park (see realtime data at fire.airnow.gov)
  • Procuring environment-related books for the Closter Public Library 
  • Paul Yarin – Chairperson
  • Scott Devlin – Member/Council Liaison
  • Conway Wong – Member/Planning Board Liaison
  • Mordechai Feibish – Member
  • Krishna Rege – Member
  • Jim Oettinger – Alternate Member
  • Rachel Suter – Alternate Member

Monthly meetings are currently held via Zoom. Meeting schedules, agendas, and minutes are published on the ClosterBoro.com website under “Upcoming Events,” and are generally on the second Thursday of each month at 7:30pm. Any Closter resident may observe these meetings and may optionally make a statement for up to five minutes. Meeting minutes are recorded and published in accordance with the Open Public Records Act.

Please email us at hello@sustainablecloster.org, join a public meeting, attend an event, or reach out to any member. We’d love to hear from you!

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