(standing): Wayne Greenleaf, Stephen Barrett;
(seated): Kristen Rolfes Hall, Jennifer Crow
We host a number of activities and events throughout the year in the community to raise awareness for the environmental issues we face. Join us for cozy winter movie nights tailored to both children and adults, active outdoor family events such as "Clean Up Your Parks Day" each spring or "Rally for the River Eco-Fest" each summer. Check our website for information on recycling in our town or sign your children up for the newly formed middle school environmental club. Each year, we add more fun and educational activities for our community to enjoy.
The Rumson Environmental Commission consists of five volunteer members appointed by the Mayor of Rumson.
Kristen Rolfes Hall - Chair
Stephen Barrett: Shade Tree Liaison
Betsy Ford: Planning Board
Mark Wellner: DPW Liaison
Kristen Rolfes Hall - Chair
After a career in finance researching science based industries, Kristen changed focus to pursue her passion for environmental conservation as a research analyst for Linden Trust for Conservation covering issues related to water quality. In 2008, she transitioned to a more community-based approach and worked with and volunteered for her community, municipality and school system to effect change on a local level. Kristen served on the Board of Trustees for the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum, as a commissioner on the Millburn Environmental Commission and liaison to the Millburn Shade Tree Committee, as a member of the Millburn Green Team and Chair of the Environmental Committee at Hartshorne Elementary School until she moved to Rumson, NJ in 2013. In Rumson, Kristen was appointed to the Rumson Shade Tree Commission and the Rumson Environmental Commission, of which she is now Chair. She serves on the Rumson Green Team and oversees the Rumson Junior Green Team and is a founder and liaison to the Forrestdale Environmental Club and a founder and co-chair of the annual Rally for the River Eco-fest. Kristen’s goal within her community and beyond is to foster strong relationships and collaborations that will help bring awareness and change to a variety of environmental issues including protection for trees, air quality, water quality and habitat.
Heather Banchi fell in love with science and nature as a young Girl Scout and then as a participant in New York State’s Department of Conservation Environmental camps as a teenager. A passion for science education emerged and has persisted since. She holds a B.S. in Biology from William Smith College and a M.Ed. in Science Education. After teaching middle school science for seven years, she decided to further pursue science education research. She has a Ph.D. in Science Education from the University of Virginia with doctoral work focused on overcoming barriers to teaching scientific inquiry at the elementary and middle school levels. After moving to Rumson in 2009, she’s been focused on raising her three children Ella, Andrew, and Christian and volunteering in the schools. Heather aspires to promote environmental stewardship among school age children and the community at large, by facilitating awareness of the positive impact each person can have on our local ecosystem.
Heather Robinson received her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Binghamton University and then took a decade-plus detour into marketing for companies such as Sesame Workshop and Hearst. After living in NYC and Sea Bright, she moved to Rumson in 2013 and enjoys the unique proximity to the water and the small-town spirit. She is a member of the Rumson Garden Club, which promotes knowledge and love of gardening and nature within the community, and is a volunteer for the Rumson schools, American Littoral Society and Impact 100 Jersey Coast. Heather also works for NJ Sea Grant Consortium as a marine science field guide educating students at Sandy Hook. She hopes to foster accessible and exciting programs within Rumson that bring all age groups together to appreciate and protect our natural world.
Jody V. Sackett has been an environmentalist all her life. She graduated from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania with a BS in Aquatic Environments, and has a Master of Science degree in Environmental Sciences from the Ohio University. While working full-time for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, she attended law school and earned a Juris Doctor degree; she is licensed to practice law in Ohio and NJ. She has worked in municipal and state governments, as well as an Environmental Attorney for the local law firm of Giordano, Halleran, & Ciesla. Changing gears to promote marine science and environmental education, she now works for the NJ Sea Grant Consortium as an educator and program administrator. Jody has lived in Rumson for over 25 years with her husband Ray, and they have two children, Ethan and Julianne.
Brief History of Rumson EC:
Although originally established in 1969, in 2016 the Rumson Environmental Commission was a subcommittee of the Shade Tree Commission. It did not have its own mission statement, its membership was the same as the Shade Tree Commission, but there no separate meetings nor was there a separate chairperson.
We set out to build partnerships and collaborations that would help educate the community on what we can do to maintain and protect our unique natural resources in Rumson and beyond. Through our collaboration with the schools, we established an Environmental Club, installed bottle filling stations, created an “Idle Free” campaign and introduced educational programming to educate the kids on the history and importance of our waterways.
Through our collaboration with the DPW and Monmouth County Recycling, we clarified the recycling practices in our community and engaged in outreach on recycling and “No Wipes in the Pipes” campaigns. Through our collaboration with the Rumson Recreation Department, we established an annual “Clean Up Your Parks Day” to bring awareness to single use plastics and recycling. Through our collaboration with Clean Ocean Action, we established an annual environmentally themed family festival to celebrate our two rivers. Modeled after a green fair established in Millburn, NJ that won the 2010 NJ Governors Award for Environmental Excellence, this festival brings together stakeholders from across the Two River area to educate families in our community and beyond. Together with Clean Ocean Action and the Rumson School District, we established community movie nights to teach children and families how to become more sustainable. Through our collaboration with the American Littoral Society, we brought river-focused educational programming the Rumson School district and established a Film+Food for Thought series. Below are some highlights of our accomplishments since 2016.
- Created a mission statement and developed aworking plan;
- Published article in Two River Times. 2017
- Established Forrestdale Environmental Club;
- Established Annual Clean Up Your Parks Day;
- Initiated Rumson School District “Idle Free” Campaign;
- Installed bottle-filling stations in Rumson School District;
- Facilitated Littoral Society collaboration with Rumson School District. 2018
- Created a more detailed website;
- Aided DPW in clarifying recycling practices, created instructional materials, and engaged in community outreach;
- Established annual Family Movie Night “WALL-e” & “Finding Nemo”;
- Assisited DPW with the “No Wipes in the Pipes” campaign materials and outreach;
- Established Annual Rally for the River Eco Fest. 2019
- Established Community Movie Night: “The Oyster Farmers”;
- Maintained annual events and passed resolution to seek Sustainable Jersey certification, Formed Green Team. 2020
- Achieved Bronze status certification from Sustainable Jersey Program.