January 23, 2014

Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Stockton Students Make a Difference at Atlantic County Utilities Authority

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 Students Greenhouse MLK 2014Stockton 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 service project.

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 Trail.

“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

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