Environmental Commission

Environmental Commission

The Environmental Commission is concerned with the “protection, development and use of the natural resources” located in Riverton Borough. Riverton’s most sensitive environmental asset is the Pompeston Creek and the open space along its banks. The Commission has published an environmental inventory of the Pompeston Creek which you can view here: www.pompestoncreek.org
Environmental resource inventory 2008

Meetings are held on the third Thursday every month, 7:30 pm at the Memorial Park picnic tables (weather permitting).

The Importance of Native Plant Species in Our Landscapes

As native habitat is developed and our suburbs expand and sprawl, the food and shelter that were once abundant for our wildlife shrink. The American Audubon society estimates that our native bird population has decreased 30% since 1966. When we think of birds and wildlife, we often forget that insects are a critical food source. As we develop land and plant non-native plants in our suburbs, we change the habitat that supports the insects that support the birds, etc.

Although insects can take pollen and nectar from almost any flowering source, what we forget is that the larval stage of those insects rely on leaves. Insects have evolved as specialist feeders. They have evolved to eat specific plants. Planting native trees and shrubs helps ensure that our insect populations have a stable food source that in turn feeds our birds.

A chickadee needs 350-500 caterpillars a day to raise a clutch of nestlings. It takes 16-18 days to raise a clutch. That is 6000-9000 caterpillars to raise a nest full of babies to maturity.

As with any plant list, we remind you to look up the specific needs and habit of all plants to determine how that will work in your landscape BEFORE you buy.

The Importance of Native Plant Species in Our Landscapes

When non-native or exotic invasive plants are introduced to an area and have no natural predators, they can displace native species. Many of these were intentionally brought to North America as ornamentals from other continents. They often have attractive flowers, foliage, or fruit, but “invasives” disrupt natural ecosystems, wildlife food sources and habitats, water flow, and soil health. Invasive exotic plants may also produce lots of seeds that can spread into woodlands. Some examples are Callery/Bradford pear, Chinese privet, Chinese and Japanese wisteria, and Chinese elm. Others produce a thick canopy and shade out native species or substances that prevent seed germination, like Asian Honeysuckles and Oriental Bittersweet.

In the past we gardened for food consumption, then aesthetics. Now, with changing climate and loss of habitat beauty alone should not be the only justification for selecting a plant for the landscape. Native shrubs, vines, and trees support insects, such as adults and larvae of beetles, butterflies, moths, ants, and flies. Certain insects depend on native flora as hosts for the larval stage and the berries and seeds for adults. Studies have shown that birds need a lot of insects to feed and fledge their chicks, with at least 70% native vegetation. Food webs depend on plants for energy, oxygen, and carbohydrates. Decomposing leaves build soil; the leaf litter and humus are essential to the microbes that recycle those nutrients.

Right Plant Right Place

When selecting plants for our landscapes, we consider form, mature height and width, and site conditions like light, moisture, and hardiness. Just as important are the ecological services that a species offers. Our native grasses, perennials, trees, shrubs, vines, and groundcovers are often the best choices for preserving ecosystems, using fewer pesticides and irrigation because they are adapted to the climate, heat, and humidity of our region. Please do a little googling or check your local extension service to understand the needs of a specific plant.

Knowing what to ask for when shopping at a garden center is key. Common names can vary regionally, so knowing the scientific name (genus and species) will avoid any confusion. There are many species of oaks, hollies, and laurels, and sometimes the common name or scientific name may indicate the origin of the plant, for example, Chinese silvergrass (Miscanthus sinensis), Japanese wisteria (Wisteria japonica) or American elm (Ulmus americana).

Attractive not only to birds, butterflies, and other wildlife, native herbaceous and woody species can give seasonal interest and beauty. Flowering perennials, such as coneflower, passion vine, and lobelias, appeal to gardeners and offer another way to attract creatures other than just having feeders. Plant them (native plants), and they (birds, bees, and butterflies) will come.

Why Plant Natives?

The Importance of Native Plant Species in Our Landscapes

When non-native or exotic invasive plants are introduced to an area and have no natural predators, they can displace native species. Many of these were intentionally brought to North America as ornamentals from other continents. They often have attractive flowers, foliage, or fruit, but “invasives” disrupt natural ecosystems, wildlife food sources and habitats, water flow, and soil health. Invasive exotic plants may also produce lots of seeds that can spread into woodlands. Some examples are Callery/Bradford pear, Chinese privet, Chinese and Japanese wisteria, and Chinese elm. Others produce a thick canopy and shade out native species or substances that prevent seed germination, like Asian Honeysuckles and Oriental Bittersweet.

In the past we gardened for food consumption, then aesthetics. Now, with changing climate and loss of habitat beauty alone should not be the only justification for selecting a plant for the landscape. Native shrubs, vines, and trees support insects, such as adults and larvae of beetles, butterflies, moths, ants, and flies. Certain insects depend on native flora as hosts for the larval stage and the berries and seeds for adults. Studies have shown that birds need a lot of insects to feed and fledge their chicks, with at least 70% native vegetation. Food webs depend on plants for energy, oxygen, and carbohydrates. Decomposing leaves build soil; the leaf litter and humus are essential to the microbes that recycle those nutrients.

Right Plant Right Place

When selecting plants for our landscapes, we consider form, mature height and width, and site conditions like light, moisture, and hardiness. Just as important are the ecological services that a species offers. Our native grasses, perennials, trees, shrubs, vines, and groundcovers are often the best choices for preserving ecosystems, using fewer pesticides and irrigation because they are adapted to the climate, heat, and humidity of our region. Please do a little googling or check your local extension service to understand the needs of a specific plant.

Knowing what to ask for when shopping at a garden center is key. Common names can vary regionally, so knowing the scientific name (genus and species) will avoid any confusion. There are many species of oaks, hollies, and laurels, and sometimes the common name or scientific name may indicate the origin of the plant, for example, Chinese silvergrass (Miscanthus sinensis), Japanese wisteria (Wisteria japonica) or American elm (Ulmus americana).

Attractive not only to birds, butterflies, and other wildlife, native herbaceous and woody species can give seasonal interest and beauty. Flowering perennials, such as coneflower, passion vine, and lobelias, appeal to gardeners and offer another way to attract creatures other than just having feeders. Plant them (native plants), and they (birds, bees, and butterflies) will come.

Click Below for Some Great Resources:

Buying Native Plants: Always ask your local nursery if they stock native NJ plants. Even if they don’t they will know their customers are interested and it may help them to start.
On-line Resources
Learn more about pollinators with The Xerces Society
Reading List
  • Noah’s Garden, Sara Stein
  • Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens, Douglas W. Tallamy
  • A New Garden Ethic, Benjamin Vogt
  • Planting in a Post Wild World, Thomas Ranier and Claudia West
  • Nature’s Best Hope, Douglas W. Tallamy
  • Planting: A New Perspective, Piet Oudolf
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Environmental Commission (Term 3 Years)
Jim Quinn, Council Liaison 629 Elm Terrace (856) 829-0120 jquinn@riverton-nj.com 12-31-2023
Kathryn Simon, Chair 304 Penn St (215) 837-8329 - 12-31-2022
Michael Robinson, Secretary 6 Second St (215) 829-8329 - 12-31-2022
Joseph Threston 307 Seventh St (856) 303-1310 12-31-2022 (Planning Board Representative)
Mark Jendrzejewski 710 Main St (856) 499-2052 - 12-31-2022
Stephanie Brown 628 Linden Avenue - - 12-31-2022
Alternate Environmental Commission (Term 3 Years)
Patricia DeVito 103 Thomas Avenue (856) 829-1464 12-31-2022
Katie Lucas 631 Lippincott Avenue - 12-31-2022

Riverton Green Team (Term 1 Year)

Jim Quinn, Council Liaison

12-31-2022

Mark Jendrzejewski

710 Main St

12-31-2022

Katie Lucas, Chair

631 Lippincott Ave.

12-31-2022

Kate Johnson

431 Thomas Avenue

12-31-2022

Christian Hochenberger

431 Thomas Avenue

12-31-2022

Lynn Johnson

303 Midway

12-31-2022

Stephanie Brown

628 Linden Ave.

12-31-2022

Erin Matzelle

710 Thomas Avenue

12-31-2022

Ed Sanderson

626 Thomas Ave

12-31-2022

Kathryn Simon

304 Penn St

12-31-2022

Pat Brunker

12-31-2022

Nedra Cawley

12-31-2022

Riverton Green Team (Term 1 Year)

Environmental Commission (Term 3 Years)

Jim Quinn, Council Liaison

629 Elm Terrace

12-31-2021

Joseph Threston

307 Seventh St

12-31-2022

(Planning Board Representative)

Kathryn Simon, Chair

304 Penn St

12-31-2023

Mark Jendrzejewski

710 Main St

12-31-2022

Michael Robinson, Secretary

6 Second St

12-31-2022

Stephanie Brown

628 Linden Avenue

12-31-2022

Environmental Commission (Term 3 Years)

Patricia DeVito

103 Thomas Avenue

12-31-2022

Katie Lucas

631 Lippincott Avenue

12-31-2022

Riverton Green Team (Term 1 Year)

Jim Quinn, Council Liaison

12-31-2021

Mark Jendrzejewski

710 Main St

12-31-2021

Stephanie Brown

628 Linden Avenue

12-31-2021

Kate Johnson

431 Thomas Avenue

12-31-2021

Christian Hochenberger

431 Thomas Avenue

12-31-2021

Lynn Johnson

303 Midway

12-31-2021

Katie Lucas

631 Lippincott Avenue

12-31-2021

Erin Matzelle

710 Thomas Avenue

12-31-2021

Ed Sanderson

626 Thomas Ave

12-31-2021

Kathryn Simon

304 Penn St

12-31-2021

Vacant

12-31-2021

Green Challenge Program

Riverton’s Green Team is organizing their first challenge toward Sustainable Jersey points this summer. We are asking residents to pledge to shop/dine locally at least once during the months of July and August. If at least 3% of residents signup to commit to the challenge, we will be awarded 10 points.  This will help us in our efforts to become eligible for grant money to further use within the Borough and our efforts. Please sign the pledge here.