If you are of a certain age, you might recall the song “It’s Not Easy Being Green” sung by everyone’s favorite frog, Kermit. But in Verona it IS easy to be green and being green is what it’s all about!
Every week we have the opportunity to recycle commingled items (glass, plastic and aluminum) or mixed paper. (If you’re not sure when and what to recycle just check out the collection schedule.) We have businesses, government buildings and private residences that are solar powered. Our community center has been producing solar energy for almost nine years and we’re trying to encourage more homes to go solar through Verona’s solar challenge. We have an environmental commission that gave away trees for Earth Day and helped create a new park in town. (Have you checked out Grove Park? It may be small in size, but provides a respite from a busy day.) The township and local organizations make it very easy to be green. Studies show that the easier it is, the more likely it is that residents will take part. And judging by the number of homes that have recycling cans out on a weekly basis, we are all doing our part to be green, although some of us are more green than others…
Additionally, Verona is surrounded by green. In addition to the aforementioned Grove Park, there is the celebrated Verona Park. Not far off is the new Hilltop Reservation that stretches from Verona to Cedar Grove, the Mills Reservation in Cedar Grove, the Eagle Rock Reservation that spans Verona and West Orange, South Mountain Reservation in South Orange and Branch Brook Park in Newark. And that’s just a naming a few; if I mentioned them all it would be an incredibly long list! (The parks and green spaces of Essex County can be found here.)
With school being out for the summer, now is the perfect time to explore these spaces. As a lifelong resident, I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t taken advantage of all of these wonderful spaces. That’s something I want to rectify this summer.
With the longer days of summer, it’s THE time to BE green AND enjoy green. As the song says: “I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful! And I think it’s what I want to be.”
Beth Shorten is a life-long resident of Verona. For more than four years, she has been chronicling life here on her personal site, Bfth’s Boring Blog.