The Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) was honored
to share in celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by partnering
with the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey for the January 20th Day of
Service. A diverse group of 10 students spent the day working in ACUA’s
greenhouse, community garden and poetry trail, helping to maintain and beautify
areas of ACUA’s Environmental Park at 6700 Delilah Road in Egg Harbor Township.
Stockton and ACUA have a history of partnering together on
projects and ideas. ACUA provides wastewater pump station
maintenance for Stockton College as well as waste audits and composition
studies. Because ACUA is on the cutting
edge of many environmental initiatives, and Stockton is noted for its
environmental studies and programs, the ACUA solid waste complex in Egg Harbor
Township and wastewater treatment facility in Atlantic City are favorite places
for Stockton professors to bring students. ACUA has also provided internships
for Stockton students over the years.
"The college and ACUA both have strong environmental
identities, so it makes sense for us to work together on service projects,” said
Maria Mento, ACUA Executive Vice President and CFO.
Student volunteers ranged from freshmen to graduate students
with diverse areas of study including nursing, physical therapy, philosophy,
computer and environmental science and visual communication.
Most of the students hadn’t met before their time together on Monday, but
shared a common interest in the environment that attracted them to ACUA’s
Volunteers who grew up in Atlantic County were familiar with
ACUA’s role providing recycling and other collection services, and some had
visited the facility for ACUA’s Earth Day celebration, with a school tour, or had
made a trip to the landfill to bring material for disposal.
Stockton’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service gave students
a chance to get to know each other as they worked together preparing ACUA’s
greenhouse for community use. Stockton’s Sustainability Food and Agriculture
class led by Dr. Linda Smith will be one of the groups utilizing the growing
space beginning in late February. After completing work in the greenhouse, the
students turned their attention to ACUA’s Community Garden space and Poetry
“The students are great. We truly appreciate their help and the
opportunity to share what we do with them, which goes beyond solid waste
management.” Mento added.
For more information on volunteer opportunities at the ACUA
or utilizing the ACUA Greenhouse or Community Garden, please call 690-272-6950
or visit acua.com.