In the backyard of Eric Hanan’s residence in Glen Ridge, the detail that is most distinct might be the bees. It’s a space full of chopped lumber as well as a tiny bat house, clucking chickens, tall trees and a couple of sheds that Hanan built out of his neighbor’s former garage. But over by the fence, partially resting in the shade, are four bee colonies and their nectar-collecting residents coming and going as they please… Hanan started his own beekeeping business three years ago, but he’s been keeping colonies in his backyard for the past eight years. And ever since he gave his green backyard a touch of black and yellow, according to Hanan, he’s seen his backyard touched with the environmental benefits that come with bees… Before getting into beekeeping, Hanan had been a TV producer for shows like “Dateline” and “20/20.” He decided that he wanted a different career, he said, where he was closer to home and helping the environment more. He joined the Glen Ridge Shade Tree Commission, as well as the Environmental Committee, took the “beekeepers’ short course” at Rutgers University, and after partnering with Lelinho, who he had met years earlier, Hanan looked into finding clients.
The Columbia High School Scholarship Fund granted $165,000 worth of scholarships to 107 graduating seniors and alumni at its award ceremony in the CHS Library on June 11… Samantha Fagundez, who recently received her second $1,500 scholarship from the fund, knows well the benefits of the fund’s money. Having just finished her first year at Rutgers University, where she is majoring in ecology with a specialization in wetland ecology, Fagundez said the money is essential in helping her pay for classes… Fagundez expressed gratitude to CHS for offering a fund for its students, pointing out that it should not be taken for granted… “Here you always hear about the CHS Scholarship Fund, and it’s a big thing in our community,” Fagundez told the News-Record. “But when I tell people at school that I got a scholarship through my high school, they’re so impressed with that because it’s not a common thing for high schools to have that. And the fact that we do shows just how much Columbia is trying to put forward its students.”