While the 2015 class of the Rutgers Veterans Environmental and Technology Solutions (VETS) program graduated in December and the ground outside isn’t ready yet for spring planting, some of the program’s graduates worked through the cold months of winter to make sure those at the Willing Heart Community Center always had fresh vegetables… Amy Rowe, VETS co-director, noted “The classroom portion of the VETS program provides unemployed veterans with the skills they need to get back to work, but the hands-on field experience has come through partnerships and engagement with the community. The trainees work to revitalize distressed neighborhoods through the installation of community gardens, landscape beautification, and by teaching the citizens of Newark how to eat healthy and grow their own food.”
Standing on the bank where the Passaic River meets the Newark Bay in New Jersey, Oswaldo Avad reels in a small bluefish and a piece of a grocery bag. “One piece plastic and one fish,” Avad said in broken English. The Passaic River is one of the most contaminated bodies of water in the country. More than 100 companies are potentially responsible for dumping toxic waste in it for decades before that was outlawed. Fifty-four of the liable companies have formed a consortium and given Rutgers University $1.1 million to create a fish exchange program. Rutgers buys young tilapia from a fish farm in New Jersey and raises them in a Newark greenhouse. The waste produced by the fish is used to grow lettuce and herbs for a local food bank.
Rutgers EcoComplex was awarded a $157,517 grant from the U.S. EPA, Region II Pollution Prevention Program that’s aimed at helping New Jersey’s food processors, storage and distribution facilities to become more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable through upgrading refrigeration systems, using safer chemicals, reducing water and energy use, and increasing employee training. “This project will […]
“There wasn’t a lot of jobs in Newark asking for someone to survey or make maps,” Rutgers graduate Rodney Spencer said. After serving his country in the U.S. Army, Spencer couldn’t find a way to put his skills to use at home. Now he’s a graduate of Rutgers Veterans Environmental Technology Solutions program – an effort to put unemployed vets in the Newark area back to work. “It’s just nice being here, seeing the community connect with a really valuable resource – the returning veterans,” Senior Program Coordinator Jan Zientek said.
Arborist Paul Cowie (CC ’85) and Jan Zientek (CC’82), senior program coordinator of Rutgers Cooperative Extension in Essex County, play key roles in maintaining the nation’s largest collection of flowering cherry trees in Essex County’s Branch Brook Park, leading a group of dedicated Rutgers Master Gardeners from Essex County. Branch Brook was the first county park […]
New Jersey is known for the industrial landscape along the turnpike and the landmarks of the Jersey Shore. But one of the state’s greatest treasures may be its least well known- the nation’s largest collection of flowering cherry trees in Essex County’…
Unique partnership among a university, a church and companies makes a difference for unemployed veterans in Newark It was a proud moment at the Willing Heart Community Care Center in Newark, NJ, on March 3, where 12 local veterans graduated as the inaugural class of the Rutgers Veterans Environmental Technology and Solutions (VETS) program. […]
Douglas H. Fisher Source: New Jersey Department of Agriculture John (Jack) Kupcho of West Caldwell, retired Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Essex County Agricultural Agent, was honored February 4 with a Distinguished Service Citation to New Jersey Agriculture at the State Agricultural Convention held in Atlantic City. “Jack Kupcho changed the way farmers do business in […]
By channeling youngsters’ and parents’ energies toward positive outcomes, youth can learn to avoid mimicking criminal and violent behavior observed in their neighborhoods. Kenneth Karamichael, director of Rutgers Transitional Education and Employment Management (T.E.E.M.) Gateway, which operates from the Office of Continuing Professional Education, is co-directing The Brick City Synergy project. Read more at Rutgers Today.
Each year, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), honors faculty and staff for their outstanding work and outreach through their programs and support. The winners for 2014 received their awards at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Annual Conference at the Cook Campus Center in New Brunswick on October 20. […]