About Us

What the VEC does?

The Verona Environmental Commission was established by Ordinance No. 9-92 on August 3, 1992. The Commission is comprised of seven members (one of whom is also a member of the Planning Board), plus two alternates. All members are Verona residents, serve without compensation and are appointed by the Mayor. 

Here you can read the commission's 2013 Annual Report

The Commission interacts with neighboring community environmental commissions and the Essex County Environmental Center. It review all applications sent to the Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment to evaluate their impact on the environment.

The role of the Commission is to study and make recommendations to the Township Council and the Planning Board concerning open space preservation, water resources management, air pollution control, solid waste management, noise control, soil and landscape protection, environmental appearance, marine resources and protection of flora and fauna throughout the Township.

The VEC provides environmental information and programs for residents and protects the Township's environmental resources for health and well being of present and future residents.

VEC Awards:

2012 ANJEC Award for the VEC

The Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) held their 39th Annual Environmental Congress in October at the Middlesex County College in Edison, NJ. Governor James Florio was the keynote speaker and workshop topics included Restoring Living Shorelines, Reducing Vehicle Emissions, Planning for Weather Extremes and Green Infrastructure. The VEC won a 2012 Environmental Achievement Award for the video and program "Go Idle Free Verona". ANJEC described the project as "a perfect example of the scope a commission can achieve with enthusiastic volunteers!". VEC members created this video with help from the H. B. W. Middle School Environmental Club. The VEC would like to congratulate the following students, pictured above during the video shoot: Benjamin Greene, Jewel Chu, Andrew Daddio, Jaclyn Marrese, Emma Kubacki, Erin McNally, Nina Machnowski, Anna and Lucas Konrad-Parisi.

ANJEC President, Nelson Dittmar Jr., pictured right, presented the award to VEC Chairman Gerard Shimonaski, Vice-Chair Gloria Machnowski and VEC Council Liaison Kevin Ryan. Also the environmental commissions from Cranford, Hawthorne, Hightstown, Manalapan, Plumsted, Roxbury and Secaucus received environmental awards this year. The Kinnelon, Westville and Washington Township Environmental Commissions received honorable mentions and four nonprofit organizations received awards. Congratulations to all!

2010 Mayor's Recognition 

The VEC would like to thank Mayor Teena Schwartz and the 2010 Mayor’s Charity Affair Committee for recognizing our Community Service. Congratulations to all 2010 honorees and to all former VEC memberswithout whom this recognition could not be possible. Pictured from left, VEC current Chairman Gerard Shimonaski and VEC first Chairman Marc Kaplan.

The 17th Annual Mayor’s Charity Affair took place on May 23rd at Mayfair Farms in West Orange. The purpose of the event was to raise funds that will be donated to Verona organizations and programs that reach all residents.

2009 ANJEC Award

The Verona Environmental Commission received an Environmental Achievement Award at ANJEC’s 2009 Environmental Congress held at Cook Campus Center, Rutgers University in New Brunswick on October 17th. The award recognizes the Commission's successful efforts in establishing paper recycling in all of Verona's schools. READ MORE 

Elementary School Presentations

VEC members created a presentation about Verona's Recycling Programs with local pictures and information targeting third and fourth grade students.

Later on the VEC presented this program at the following schools: Forest Ave., Laning Ave., F.N.Brown, Brookdale Ave. (pictured left) and Our Lady of the Lake. This program is plan to run in all 5 school every 2 years. SEE MORE PICTURES HERE

Steps to Go Green

The VEC participated in "Steps to Go Green", a fair sponsored by the Caldwell, West Caldwell and Roseland Environmental Commissions. The event took place in October 2010 at the Caldwell College Cafeteria. Admission was free. The commission presented the program "Idle Free Verona" and played the game "How long it takes to decompose" with the visitors. We would like to tank Ann Marchioni, Caldwell Environmental Commission's Chairperson, for inviting us. Pictured from left, VEC members Tony Saltalamacchia, Tara Bratek, James Loudon, Virginia Citrano and Gloria Machnowski.

ANJEC Training

A new member of the Verona Environmental Commission participated on the "Training to protect Natural Resources" held by the
Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions in 2010. Pictured are some of the attendees during Nelson Dittmar presentation (ANJEC Board of Trustees). The event took place in the Geraldine R. Dodge LEEDS Certified Building, 14 Maple Avenue, Morristown, New Jersey.

Peckman River Clean-Up

VHS Students Removed Half a Ton of Trash. More than 60 Verona High School students participated in the annual Peckman River Clean-Up on May 21st 2010. Students were assisted by VHS Vice Principal Dave Galbierczyk, VEC Chairman Jerry Shimonaski and VHS teachers Linda Barone, Jan Korman, Chris Tamburro and Carl Cascone. SEE MORE PICTURES HERE

Who's in the Environmental Commission?

Name Position Term Expires
Gloria Machnowski Chairwoman & Webmaster 06/30/16
Anthony SaltalamacchiaVice-Chairman & HBW Environ. Club Advisor   10/06/17
Virginia M. Citrano Commissioner - Social Media10/06/17
James Loudon Commissioner - Plans Review06/30/16
Jessica PearsonTreasurer - Secretary 06/30/15
Larry Lonergan Planning Board 06/30/16
Chris Stark Commissioner06/30/17
Julia CapuanoAlternate 1 - VHS Liaison04/07/16
Martin GolanAlternate 2 06/30/16
Kevin RyanCouncil Liaison


VEC members have completed the course on the responsibilities of an Environmental Commissioner given by ANJEC (Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissioners) or Rutgers University's Environmental Stewards program. Several of our members have attended presentations on Green Buildings, Water Protection, Air Pollution, and other environmental topics.

VEC Accomplishments

• Implemented paper and cardboard recycling at all Verona public schools.
• 2010 Community Service Recognition at the Mayor's Charity Affair (pictured right).
• 2009 Environmental Achievement Award from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions.
• Installed “No Idling” signage at HBW middle school, four elementary schools and Community Center.
• Created presentation on idling posted on YouTube.
• Created presentation on recycling that was given at all public elementary schools, as well as at Our Lady of the Lake School.
• Organized annual Peckman River clean-up.
• Celebrated Earth Day at the Recycling Center and distributed recycling bins to residents.
• Assisted Verona School District in switching to green cleaning products.
• Attended all Hilltop meetings of the Planning Board and all TCI expansion meetings by the Board of Adjustment.
• Sponsored three annual poster contests on idling at all elementary schools.
• Mounted three “Idle Free Verona” exhibits at the Verona Library and Essex County Environmental Center.
• Created the Treasured Tree Program and the online tree tour.
• Developed the VEC's Web site www.veronaec.org using free online software.

Former Members

The first VEC Chairman was Marc Kaplan followed by Teena Schwartz (former Verona Mayor), Chris Pierce, Lydia Bashwiner, David Freschi, Cinzia Cortese and Jerry Shimonaski.

List of  VEC members from 1992 to 2010

Marc Kaplan, Beverly DeCheser, Ed Condon (Planning Board Rep.), Larry Gasparo (Planning Board Rep.), Teena Schwartz, Megan Ambroso, Thomas Cocchiola, Robert Masiello, Bill Oser (Planning Board Rep.), Chris Pierce, Lydia Bashwiner, Chris Daniels, Lori Tanner, Jack Grebe, Hans Erdenberger, Joe Carpinelli (Planning Board Rep.), Jerry Caprio, Andrew Robinson, Eric Kohlstaat, Rich Williamson, Jason Apter, David Freschi, Gerard Shimonaski, Cinzia Cortese, Mark Newell, Karen Pensiero (Planning Board Rep.), Genaro Salierno, Deborah Jacobsen, Anne Stires, Gloria Machnowski, James Loudon, Tom Freeman (Planning Board Rep.), Virginia Citrano and Anthony Saltalamacchia.

If you are a former VEC member and your name is not listed please contact us. The names were taken from the minutes found in the archives.

How can a Non-Member participate?

Any Verona resident may attend a meeting of the Environmental Commission. If you can't attend, but have an idea to improve Verona's environment, please contact us.
The VEC in Verona's Fair

2013 The commission participated in Verona Fair in the Square on December 7th. The VEC table was busy all day long with residents of all ages. Visitors learned about Sustainable Jersey, a free certification program for municipalities that want to go green and save money in the process. Verona recently joined the program. Many residents signed up to volunteer in the Green Team, a new commission that will coordinate Verona's sustainability efforts. Children took the Kid's Green Challenge and everybody got a Sustainable Jersey pin and signed the 2014 Verona Pledge promising to recycle more, save water, eat more veggies, use reusable bags, walk more and drive less. Pictured, VEC members informing residents about Sustainable Jersey.
2012 At the commission's table visitors learned about the dangers of toxic synthetic lawn pesticides. The commission invited residents to sign a petition to keep lawn pesticides off Verona's school grounds and public fields where children play. The most common reaction was "Who could be against this?". Over 200 residents already signed the petition in person and online. You can read the petition here. Children made holiday cards for their families and friends with reclaimed cards from Verona. Pictured from right, Council Member Kevin Ryan visiting the VEC table, Chaiman Jerry Shimonaski and HBW teacher Tony Saltalamacchia with his daughter. 

2011 and 2010 At the commission's table visitors played the game "How Long it Takes to Decompose" and and "Identify the Household Hazardous Waste Items". Residents also signed the VEC's recycling pledge and those who needed a new recycling bin ordered a free one. 

Pictured is former Verona Mayor Teena Schwartz visiting the VEC table at the fair, commission members Tony Saltalamacchia, Jim Loudon and Chairman Jerry Shimonaski.

Go Green, Save Green Fair

The Caldwell and Roseland Environmental Commissions sponsored a Green Fair in October 2009.The fair took place at Caldwell College and featured green, sustainable and healthy vendors, speakers and presentations, a silent auction, raffles and fun activities for the whole family. We exhibited our “Idle Free Verona” presentation and poster contest, the VEC Treasured Tree Program and Paper Recycling at Verona Schools’ displays. Pictured between Jerry and Gloria from the VEC is Ann Marchioni, Caldwell Environmental Commission's Chairperson. 
Thank you for inviting us to this successful event!

Non-Point Source Pollution

The Verona Environmental Commission made a presentation on Non-point source pollution (pollution caused by human activity) to HBW 8th graders. Pictured are former VEC members Andrew Robinson and Carrie Dietz, Area 4 Watershed Ambassador and retired HBW science teacher, Mike Somers. 

To see more pictures visit our Photo Gallery 
(Peckman River Cleanup).

About this Web site

This Web site was created by VEC volunteers in August 2009 using free on-line software. All content and works posted are for educational purposes only. Included photographs are either courtesy of volunteers or public domain pictures. VEC member Gloria Machnowski is in charge of updating and maintaining this Web site.
VEC Verona Environmental Commission,
Mar 26, 2014, 8:23 AM
VEC Verona Environmental Commission,
Oct 10, 2010, 8:14 PM