Step 1: Plan Before You Plant
Lay the groundwork for completing the steps to certification by engaging municipal personnel and volunteers and by collecting baseline information about municipal properties.
Why It’s Important
Planning is the first step to becoming a certified Jersey-Friendly Yards municipality. During the initial planning phase, you will assemble a team of personnel and community volunteers to assist with completing the requirements for certification.
1A: Designate a coordinator of the municipality’s Jersey-Friendly Yards Certification efforts.
The coordinator will be the contact person for the certification program and coordinate your municipality’s efforts to complete the actions needed for certification. The following are examples of municipal departments and staff to consider including on your certification team:
- Public Works,
- Grounds and Maintenance,
- Parks and Recreation,
- Green Team,
- Environmental Commission or Environmental Committee,
- Municipal Clerk,
- Engineering, and
- Recycling and Sustainability.
By engaging the community and reaching out to local volunteer organizations, municipalities can get valuable assistance with completing the certification requirements. Some volunteer groups which may be helpful are:
- Rutgers Environmental Stewards,
- Barnegat Bay Master Naturalists,
- Scouts and other youth organizations,
- Civic organizations, and
- Garden clubs.
What to submit for Action 1A: Name and contact information for the municipality’s Jersey-Friendly Yards Stewardship coordinator.
1B: Prepare a base map for at least one landscaped municipal property.
Landscaped properties are those that have features requiring maintenance (e.g., lawn areas, garden beds, sports fields). Prepare a base map showing natural and man-made features on at least one of the municipality’s landscaped properties, and include the following information:
- Cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west);
- Location of buildings, driveways, parking lots, sidewalks, and other hardscapes;
- Existing vegetation (lawn, trees, foundation plantings, garden beds, etc.);
- Location of stormwater management structures (e.g., detention or retention basins, swales, rain gardens, outfall pipes);
- Location of any water features (streams, ponds, etc.) on the property; and
- Location of any areas with water drainage problems.
The base map will be used to record other information as you progress through the steps in the certification program.
What to submit for Action 1B: A base map for at least one landscaped municipal property including the information described above.
1C: Establish a page(s) on your website about your participation in the program.
Use your website to promote your municipality’s participation in the Jersey-Friendly Yards Municipal Certification program and engage residents in the Jersey-Friendly Yards Resident Program. As you work toward certification, you can share updates about your stewardship accomplishments and provide educational resources that residents can use to become better stewards of their own properties.
Information to communicate on your website should include the following:
- Photos highlighting your municipality’s healthy landscaping actions,
- Links to Jersey-Friendly Yards website resources and tools, including the home page, searchable Plant Database, Interactive Yard, and 8 Steps to a Jersey-Friendly Yard pages,
- Links to Jersey-Friendly Yards webpages about how residents and schools can get certified,
- Other educational resources for residents about healthy landscaping, and
- Announcements of any educational programs or workshops your municipality offers to residents, schools, businesses, and others.
What to submit for Action 1C: Link(s) to the webpage(s) about your municipality’s participation in the program.
- Jersey-Friendly Yards: Step 1
- Jersey-Friendly Yards Plant Database
- Interactive Yard
- 8 Steps to a Jersey-Friendly Yard
Ready to Submit Step 1?
Upload the Required Documentation to Your Custom Link.
When you enrolled, you received a custom link from us for your action item uploads.