Adopt-a-Street Program Takes Off This Month in Barnegat

By Eric Englund | Oct 02, 2019

Barnegat — Disappointed there was no community-backed effort to clean up areas of town on Earth Day, two incoming Barnegat High School freshmen, Nora Hansen and Jenna Marcy, literally took matters into their hands over the summer.

The result is an “Adopt a Street Program,” an initiative that focuses on community involvement from youth, adults and local businesses. Prospective volunteers complete applications indicating the streets they want to adopt. An official launch of the program was held on Thursday, Oct. 17, 4 p.m. at township hall.

Hansen and Marcy said they are seeking volunteers for a one-year commitment to clean up trash three times a year in their designated streets. The teens have already coordinated cleanups along Gunning River Road, Barnegat Boulevard and the bay beach.

“Our goal is to create an eco-friendly town,” said Hansen. “We know it can be done.”

“How does it help save the planet?” said Marcy. “We’re one town and cleaning up one street at a time; that’s less garbage that’s going into the ocean. And it also gets the entire community involved.”

Helping them put the plan in place was Dunfee School counselor Michele Cucinotta, whom they knew from their days as Dunfee students.

“We’ve got six streets covered so far, but we’re waiting for the kickoff event to really get this going,” she said. “The kickoff should make more people aware of what they’re looking to do.“

Volunteers are required to wear bright-colored clothing to ensure visibility, and work can be done only in daylight hours. Anyone finding suspicious-looking items needs to report them to the police department.

Mayor Alfonso Cirulli applauded the students for their initiatives and offered the township’s support.

“We’re definitely behind this,” he said. “It’s nice to see youngsters who not only care about our community but do something about it.”

— Eric Englund

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