Monthly Update
April Volunteer Spotlight
Doug Ruccione & Stephano Castro
We would like to thank two of our New Jersey Highlands Coalition volunteers who were a huge help to the Coalition this month for the 2017 Water Resources and the New Jersey Highlands Conference held at Montclair State University (MSU).  

Doug and Stephano worked together with our Education & Outreach Coordinator Sean Gilson to turn a routine screening of our "Highlands Rediscovered" film on the campus into a fully - fledged water resources conference, complete with a 5 member panel (that Doug moderated) made up of academics, non-profits and industry professionals, and an invigorating keynote address by Assemblyman John F. McKeon. 
Doug Ruccione grew up in Ringwood, NJ - a town 100% in the Preservation Area of the New Jersey Highlands. Doug is a senior at MSU in the School of Business, studying Management. He is graduating in May 2017 and plans to pursue a Master's of Public Administration at either Fairleigh Dickinson or Rutgers. Doug also runs a Formal Entertainment company, as an Event Host, with a partner based out of Wayne, NJ. Doug hosts events ranging from Weddings, Corporate Galas, Fundraisers, and more.

Doug also is an advocate in his hometown where he helps plan litter clean-ups around Ringwood's streets and lakes.  He hopes to make litter abatement part of his community’s core culture. Doug also spends much of his time advocating  strengthening the cleanup of the Ringwood Mines Landfill Superfund site. He will continue to raise awareness about the Site, forwarding this goal.
Stephano Castro is a graduate student at Montclair State University studying Sustainability Science. He was the Founder and President of the Environmental Club at MSU. Aside from spearheading MSU's compost production, Stephano and his organization received an Honorable Mention from the United States Green Building Council for their Innovative Sustainability Initiative working to build a sustainability center on campus. As a graduate student, Stephano started working for MSU's Environmental Health and Safety department as a Sustainability Coordinator.  He runs the industrial compost production at MSU and assists in various other sustainable initiatives on campus. Stephano's goals include starting his own school with a sustainable curriculum and promoting environmental legislation to mitigate the damage caused by human-induced climate change.
Highlands Council

 Next Scheduled Meeting: May 18th, 2017  |  4 pm
 100 North Road, Chester, NJ

The April Highlands Council meeting was cancelled.  Please plan to attend the next Council meeting as there has been talk of releasing elements of the Regional Master Plan update at this meeting.

Highlands Council Info
NJ Highlands Coalition 2nd Annual Golf Outing

Sponsored by WXPN Radio
Register Here
Highlands Coalition Visual Media Seminar
at Hawk Pointe Golf Outing, May 11th 2017

During the Highlands Coalition’s Golf Outing on May 11th the Coalition will conduct a Visual Media Seminar open to anyone who wishes to attend the event but not play golf, led by Dwight Hiscano, photographer extraordinaire and Elliott Ruga, our own Policy Director and winner of two Emmys.  Participants will video or photograph the opening of the outing.  Then return to the clubhouse for a lecture/demonstration by our award winning professionals.  After that those participating will go onto the course to capture shots of the golfers, the flora and fauna found in abundance on the course or anything that seems interesting.  Then they will return to the clubhouse and prepare a video/photo presentation that will be shown at lunch.  Lunch and open bar will be made available to all participants.  The fee including lunch and open bar is $200, a tax deductible donation.  You can find out more about Dwight and Elliott here:;  and

Register Here
2017 Climate March

Won't you join us in Washington, DC at the People's Climate March, April 29?  You can find more information about the March here:

The New Jersey Highlands Coalition is co-sponsoring buses to the March from New Jersey with the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.  

Our bus will leave April 29, 2017 at 6 a.m. from the parking lot behind Town Hall in Morristown and return at the end of the day.  Easiest access to the parking lot is from Franklin Street.  We will meet the bus there, and you can safely leave your car there for the day (it is also the parking lot for the police station!)

Cost:  $55 round trip per person

Register Here
2017 Small Grants Program
Apply Now!
Local grassroots organizations focused on protecting water and other environmental resources or preserving cultural and historic treasures in the New Jersey Highlands can apply for grants up to $5,000 through the New Jersey Highlands Coalition‘s 2017 Small Grants Program.  The cultural grants include “bricks-and-mortar” projects for specific historic sites or districts.

Applications must be received by Friday, June 16. Grants will be awarded on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the N.J. Highlands Coalition’s annual meeting.

Grant applications should meet at least one of five criteria, with the items at the top getting more weight than those below:

1. Focus on implementation of the Highlands Regional Master Plan, such as projects that identify, map or verify Highlands natural or cultural resources;
2. Establish a precedent advancing strong environmental or cultural protection in the Highlands;
3. Assist an organization to fight against development in the Highlands that seriously threatens or damages natural or cultural resources;
4. Support capacity building of Highlands Region grassroots organizations;
5. Educate the public about Highlands cultural resources or water and other natural resources.

Applicants are advised to view the full guidelines for the program on the Coalition’s website HERE. This is especially true of the new cultural and historic grants where detailed requirements for this third-year program are included on the website.
Recap: Hopped Up Scavenger Pub Crawl
in Hackettstown

We had an amazing turn out for our first ever Hopped Up Hackettstown Pub Crawl last Saturday, April 22nd.  Crawlers formed a line that wrapped around the building of Man Skirt Brewing before our start time of noon, to register and collect their commemorative, t-shirts and scavenger hunt programs.  Throughout the day participants traveled around Hackettstown to 7 locations, while looking for clues and following bars and breweries on Instagram for points.  The night wrapped up at Bea McNally's where the scavenger hunt was judged.  1st through 4th place prizes, a grand prize, and a prize for a designated driver were awarded to the crawlers with the most clues found in the hunt.  


We would like to thank all of the bars and breweries who participated below:

Man Skirt Brewing 144 Main St, Hackettstown, NJ 07840 (headquarters)
Panther Pub County Road 517, Allamuchy Township, NJ 07820
Taphouse Grille 1930 NJ-57, Hackettstown, NJ 07840
Czig Meister Brewing 106 Valentine St, Hackettstown, NJ 07840
Marley's Gotham Grill 169 Main St, Hackettstown, NJ 07840
Bea McNally's Irish Pub 109 Grand Ave, Hackettstown, NJ 07840

Jersey Girl 426 Sand Shore Rd, Hackettstown, NJ 07840

And we also would like to thank our sponsors, everyone who attended and all of our wonderful volunteers for making this great, fun day possible.  After all, you can’t make (or enjoy) great beer without having great water to make it in the first place!

Stay tuned for our next pub crawl later this year! #HoppedUpNJ
Uphold the Highlands Update

Led by George Stafford, our Uphold the Highlands program, which has garnered well over 100 municipalities’, counties’ and regional and local Environmental Commissions’ support for the Highlands Act and Regional Master Plan, is moving into a new phase.

We hugely appreciate those communities being open minded and taking the time to understand and appreciate our efforts, even if sometimes they asked for a little persuasion! We have not given up on the remaining communities, which are still being pursued actively, albeit more slowly than earlier converts.

Our outreach has now expanded to other efforts seeking local and governmental support. We, of course, will still approach targeted towns outside the Highlands that receive water from the Highlands to approve our Resolution of Support for the Highlands Act. But now, we are working with both the Keep It Green Campaign and SaveH2ONJ on resolutions advocating continued funding support for Open Space acquisition, and for the release of the long delayed New Jersey Water Supply Plan, which was finished in 2011 but has not been released to the public to inform and support local and regional planning decisions respectively. Communities as diverse as Bernardsville, Newark and George Stafford’s home town of Wharton have recently signed on to both of these resolutions. Political events both in Washington and here in New Jersey have made the local and regional governmental/political picture somewhat more than cloudy, but having met with officials inside and outside the Highlands in places like Stanhope and Paterson, we continue to promote the important economic and environmental values of the Highlands.
The Highlands Rediscovered
Complimentary Screenings

We have been busy showing the NJN film "The Highlands Rediscovered" and we would like to continue sharing this beautiful and informative film. We're happy to work with your organization (or an organization you know) if interested in hosting the New Jersey Highlands Coalition for a free screening of this film, followed by a short Q&A session. Just let us know where and when!
Schedule a Screening
for the latest news and exclusive behind the scenes access to the NJ Highlands Coalition!
​The New Jersey Highlands Coalition

represents a diverse network of organizations - small and large, local, regional, statewide and national - and individuals with the common goal to protect, enhance and restore the New Jersey Highlands and to preserve the quality and quantity of drinking water both for the 850,000 people in the Highlands as well as the more than 5.4 million people in surrounding areas who depend on Highlands water. For more information visit our website.

Thank you for all of your support! 
508 Main Street | Boonton | New Jersey | 07005