2016 Poster Contest
Verona celebrated the 20 year anniversary of Walk-Bike to School Day on October 5th, sponsored by the Verona Environmental Commission. Students were encouraged to walk and bike to school and learn more about pedestrian and bicycle safety. Pictured, Forest Avenue Elementary School Principal Jeff Monacelli walks to school with students. Each year we hold a poster contest open to Verona Public School Students Grade K through 12. All posters were exhibited at the schools and entered into the contest. Winners received $50 dollars and a certificate from Verona Mayor Kevin Ryan at Town Hall on November 7. Pictured from left to right the winners: Taylor McClain from Brookdale Avenue School for "Be kind to others". Dylan Frey from F. N. Brown School for "It's cool to walk, bike, skate, scoot to school!". MacKenzie Powley from Forest Avenue School for "I love the Earth! And you should too". Luke Latson from Laning Avenue School for "Ride your bike if you would like or use your feet on the street!". Graham Weber from H. B. Whitehorne Middle School for "She is our sunshine, our only sunshine, make her happy instead of gray. Just bike or walk to school". Serena Henderson from Verona High School for "Be green and plant a tree". Congratulations to all and thank you for supporting a cleaner environment, healthier habits, and pedestrian and bicyclist safety in our community! Younger children should always walk and bike with an adult. For safety tips please visit the National Center for Safe Routes to School.
2015 Poster Contest
We received over 200 entries from all Verona Public Schools for our 7th Annual Poster Contest. The 2015 winners are 'Live Green' by Annaliese Tietjen from Verona High School; 'Bike to School' by Tigerlily Fischer from H. B. Whitehorne Middle School; 'Green Up Verona' by Nishini Fernando from Brookdale Avenue School; 'Replant Because is Fun' by Christopher Caldera from F. N. Brown School; 'Be Kind to the Earth' by Reese Falcone from Forest Avenue School, and 'It's Cool to Walk to School' by Jack Latson from Laning Avenue School. Congratulations! Winners will receive $50 dollars and an award certificate from Verona's Mayor at the Award Ceremony on November 2nd at Town Hall. The theme this year was "Sustainable Verona". All artwork was on display at the schools. Sustainability is about living within the means of our environment and ensuring that our lifestyle doesn’t harm others. Walking or biking to school, turning off cars while parked and buying locally are just a few ways to make Verona more sustainable!
2014 Poster Contest Winners
The VEC held its 6th Annual Poster Contest on Walk to School Day, October 2014. This year's theme was "Sustainable Verona". Students Grade K to 12 submitted over 200 entries. The posters were exhibited at Verona's public schools, the Community Center and in the kiosks of the Hilltop Reservation. Walking or biking to school, turning off cars while parked, buying locally, preserving open space, planting native trees and composting are just a few ways to make Verona more sustainable. The awards ceremony took place at Town Hall on Nov. 3rd. Winners received $50 dollars and an award certificate from Mayor Bob Manley. Thank you students, families and educators for supporting this program! Pictured from left: Jessica Sidrak (H. B. Whitehorne Middle School), Stephen Bartell (Forest Ave. School), Paul Chanley (Verona High School), Maya Cappello (Brookdale Ave. School), Erin Song (Laning Ave. School) and Juliet Alkaysi (F.N. Brown School).
Sustainable Verona: the VEC produced this 6 min. video with artwork submitted by Verona students to our 2014 Poster Contest. We received over two hundred entries from public school students grades K to 12. The video shows a hundred of those posters. Great job everyone!
2013 Poster Contest Winners
Verona public school students submitted over 140 posters to the VEC No-Idling contest on October 9, Walk to School Day. You can see all the posters in this VIDEO.
These are the winners of the 5th Annual Idle Free Verona Poster Contest: Peter Popowich (F. N. Brown School), Wednesday Fischer (Brookdale Ave. School), Amelia Koellhofer (Forest Ave. School), Mark Serra (Laning Ave. School) and Maxine Haralambiev (H. B. Whitehorne Middle School) pictured here. The Award Ceremony took place at Town Hall on November 4th. Winners received $50 dollars and a certificate signed by Verona Mayor.
Did You Know? An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 30 miles per hour! Vehicle exhaust causes allergies, cancer, asthma and bronchitis. Up to 25% of NJ school-aged children are asthmatic. Idling for more than 3 minutes is against the law in New Jersey! Please turn OFF your car wherever you’re parked and waiting. Ready, Set, STOP Your Engines!
Please watch "Idle Free Verona" 2 minute video from the VEC. It is part of the commission's local campaign against unnecessary vehicle idling. The video was entirely shot and edited by VEC members. The commission would like to especially thank the H. B. Whitehorne Middle School Environmental Club and the kids from Verona for their participation and support. The Verona Environmental Commission won a 2012 Environmental Achievement Award from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) for this video and our clean air initiatives. ANJEC described the project as "a perfect example of the scope a commission can achieve with enthusiastic volunteers!". For full screen and HD resolution please click HERE. Turn the Key... Be Idle Free!
According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection "An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 30 miles per hour". NJ State Law prohibits idling more than three minutes for both diesel and gasoline vehicles. Learn what Verona kids are doing to reduce air pollution and how you can help! For information please click HEREAll posters submitted to the annual contest "Idle Free Verona" are on display every year at the Verona Public Library (17 Gould Street) in November. The posters are organized by participating school. The exhibit was held at the Children Department during regular library hours. Pictured below are (from left to right ) Librarians Bill Trafton and Catherine Adair Williams and Library Director Mary Torrey, and pictured left, Children's Librarian Cheryl Ashley at the exhibit with children. Congratulations to all participants for helping improve Verona's air quality!
businesses in Verona displayed on their store windows students' "Idle-Free" posters. For two weeks they shown their support to "2011 Walk to School Day" and cleaner air. Thank you AFG Framing, King's, Cleaners in that Mall, Carnevale's Car Service, Gemmel's Cleaners, Trend, JT Barber Shop, Verona Aluminum, Terry’s, C&J Trophies and Towne Scoop! If you are a store owner interested on displaying the children artwork please contact us.
In 2009, 2010 and 2011 all public elementary schools in Verona participated in the VEC's poster contest Idle Free Verona. More than 100 posters were exhibited at the schools, Verona's Public Library and Essex County Environmental Center. Parents and teachers, thank you for supporting this program too! Following two incidents in which four pedestrians (including two preschoolers) were killed and 17 struck by unattended idling vehicles in New York in 2009, idling fines raised and the Hayley and Diego’s law was created. Idling is considered a criminal offense. Idling Is Also Illegal in New Jersey. READ MORE
How good is the air quality at Verona’s schools?
Good, but could be better, according to a new analysis of data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Matching EPA data for tracking toxic chemicals against 128,000 school locations across the country, USA Today has just produced a detailed report on how industrial pollution affects outside air at America’s schools. Most of the toxic chemicals in the EPA database have never been tested for their specific effect on children, who many experts believe are more at risk for health problems because they are growing and breathe more rapidly than adults.
According to USA Today’s analysis, Verona’s public schools rank in the 58th-60th percentiles of schools nationwide. You can read the full report here: “The Smokestack Effect: Toxic Air And America’s Schools” . For current air quality conditions go to AIRNow. Help to improve air quality at Verona’s schools by reducing your warm-up idling time to 30 seconds and turning your engine off if parked.
Pictured is one of the street signs installed at Verona schools in September 2009.Verona Park Conservancy organizes annual cleanups usually on April and the annual Hilltop Cleanup Day is organized by the Hilltop Conservancy.
Verona produces 15 million gallons of water per month and has produced more than a billion gallons to date. Our Annual Water Quality Report and more than 1,000 water test show that we can drink our tap water with confidence. Enjoy Verona’s good quality municipal water. This is something we can all drink to!
An Australian town just banned bottled water, saving $2.5 million per year. In the U.S., first San Francisco banned it, then Chicago started taxing it and the city of Seattle signed an executive order to stop the city from buying it. It'll make a big difference; in 2007 that city spent $58,000 on the stuff (not including the carbon footprint of bottled water). The move is also a strong vote of confidence in the city's municipal tap water supply and treatment systems. It's good to see cities standing behind its tap water and encouraging its employees and residents to drink up. Many more are joining them.
Conservation tips include:
The Township of Verona released a drought warning in 2016 and strongly encouraged all residents to eliminate unnecessary water use and is offering a limited supply of toilet leak detection tablets at the Verona Community Center, 880 Bloomfield Ave. to help residents do their part to conserve.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has placed 14 counties in North, Central and Northern Coastal New Jersey under a drought warning due to ongoing precipitation deficits and deteriorating water-supply conditions, particularly storage levels in reservoirs. DEP Commissioner Bob Martin signed an Administrative Order on October 21, 2016 designating the drought warning for Morris, Bergen, Essex , Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren Counties.
Stormwater picks up trash, toxins and other pollution that can kill wildlife, destroy wildlife habitat, contaminate drinking water sources and put the health of swimmers in danger. Human activity is largely responsible for stormwater pollution, each of us has a responsibility to make sure that contaminants stay out of our water.
How can I reduce stormwater pollution?
You can protect our water resources by following these tips:
The Peckman River originates in West Orange and flows northeasterly through Verona, Cedar Grove and Little Falls to its confluence with the Passaic River in the borough of Woodland Park (formerly West Paterson).
We organize an annual Peckman River Cleanup and Verona residents are always welcome to participate. Check our calendar for upcoming VEC's events.
During the last 2010 river clean-up Verona High School students removed about half a ton of trash. READ MORE HERE.