A long-empty lot in Pleasantville’s bayfront area will serve a new purpose as part of the new “Green Team” effort in the city.
The former site of Pleasantville High School, at Ansley and Franklin boulevards, may host a farmers’ market as early as this summer, according to Economic Development Director Jackie Amado-Belton.
The old school building was demolished in 2006 and the lot had been the potential site of a redevelopment project that never came to fruition.
But the area is still a prime location, Amado-Belton said.
“It is close to the Black Horse Pike and is walking distance from surrounding neighborhoods; customers have easy pull up parking,” she said.
Amado-Belton said the Green Team was formed by a resolution approved at a February City Council meeting and is part of the city’s efforts to become a Sustainable Jersey town — a designation from the Sustainable Jersey organization, which awards grants to towns for community-based sustainability projects.
Hammonton, Margate, Upper Township, Millville, Brigantine, Linwood and Galloway are some of the towns in South Jersey that have green teams to focus on sustainability efforts.
Pleasantville’s team is made up of several residents of the city, including some employees of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority.
Cara Parsio, who recently moved to Pleasantville, said she is hopeful about the team and its effects on the city.
“I know we’ve (the ACUA) done projects and put out campaigns for recycling, and it didn’t really improve significantly — as easy as it is to recycle,” Parsio said.
But she hopes the effort will bring a change in the city.
“I hope to have an impact and get more of a community feeling, not only for the environment but also having a community feeling means lower crime,” Parsio said.
Amado-Belton said the team is looking for farmers and vendors for the market, which could start in July and run through September.
“Pleasantville has begun the process of making its operations greener and more environmentally friendly,” according to the resolution that approved the Green Team on Feb. 19. It includes examples of promoting a biking community, making the municipal building more energy efficient and completing an energy audit of all city buildings.
Members of the team include Amado-Belton, city recreation Superintendent Deborah Washington, ACUA employees Mattie Fisher, Oliver Austin, Vaughn Quintana and Parsio, and residents Vernon Walker and Barbara Green.
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